Tech industry figures gather to mourn popular executive

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Dave Goldberg, 'A Brilliant Boss'

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) - Tech industry leaders and other friends from across Silicon Valley gathered Tuesday for a memorial service honoring David Goldberg, a popular startup executive and husband of "Lean In" author Sheryl Sandberg.

President Barack Obama extended his sympathies in a post on Facebook this week, joining a number of well-known Silicon Valley figures including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a close friend of both Goldberg and Sandberg, who is chief operating officer of the social network.

"His skills as an entrepreneur created opportunity for many; his love for his family was a joy to behold, and his example as a husband and father was something we could all learn from," Obama wrote on the White House Facebook page. The message drew online thanks from Sandberg, who described her relationship with Goldberg as a "50-50 partnership" in her 2013 book about the challenges faced by working women.

The 47-year-old Goldberg died Friday of severe head trauma while he was exercising during a family vacation at a resort near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He apparently slipped on a treadmill and hit the machine, a Mexican official said.

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Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg
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Tech industry figures gather to mourn popular executive
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is interviewed by Megyn Kelly, during a segment of her Fox News Channel “The Kelly File,” program, in New York, Thursday, March 5, 2015. Sandberg has enlisted NBA stars LeBron James, Stephen Curry and some of the basketball league's other top players to convince more men to join the fight for women's rights at home and at work. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., left, and her husband David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey, arrive to a morning session at the Sun Valley Lodge during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Technology companies from Silicon Valley are expected to take center stage at this year's Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference as tech and media converge. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 05: In this handout image supplied by Sportsfile, Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey, speaks on the centre stage during Day 2 of the 2014 Web Summit at the RDS on November 5, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE via Getty Images)
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., left, walks with her husband David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, as they arrive at the Sun Valley Lodge ahead of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries will gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 23: Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, speaks during the Digital Life Design conference (DLD) at HVB Forum on January 23, 2012 in Munich, Germany. DLD (Digital - Life - Design) is a global conference network on innovation, digital, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and investors for crossover conversation and inspiration. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 09: Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, attend the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 9, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful businessmen from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 32nd year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 08: Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, arrive for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 8, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful businessmen from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 32nd year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg arrive for morning session of the Allen & Co. annual conference at the Sun Valley Resort on July 10, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The resort is hosting corporate leaders for the 31st annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference where some of the wealthiest and most powerful executives in media, finance, politics and tech gather for weeklong meetings. Past attendees included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
MENLO PARK, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a Safer Internet Day event at Facebook headquarters on February 10, 2015 in Menlo Park, California. California Attorney General Kamala Harris delivered the keynote speech at a Safer Internet Day event that is designed to promote safe, effective use of the internet and mobile technology. Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over 100 countries on the the second Tuesday in February. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 09: JULY 10: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg arrives for the Allen & Co. annual conference on July 9, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The resort will host corporate leaders for the 31th annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference where some of the wealthiest and most powerful executives in media, finance, politics and tech gather for weeklong meetings which begins Tuesday. Past attendees included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
FILE - This Jan. 15, 2013 file photo shows Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. “Lean In” is now in its 15th printing and has sold 600,000 copies just three months after publication, Bogaards said Thursday, June 6. Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, has been encouraging a national conversation on how women can advance in their careers. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, left, and Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey, arrive at the Sun Valley Inn for the 2011 Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in Sun Valley, Idaho (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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Under sunny skies Tuesday, mourners streamed into a 1,700-seat auditorium at Stanford University, in the heart of Silicon Valley, where the family was holding a private service. An email invitation reportedly asked men to attend without neckties because Goldberg had long hated wearing them.

A genial bear of a man, Goldberg was often introduced in national media appearances as Sandberg's husband after the publication of her book that encouraged a public dialogue about working women and the need for men to support their spouses by sharing duties at home.

But to many in Silicon Valley, Goldberg was also known as an entrepreneur, investor and mentor who generously shared business advice. He was CEO of SurveyMonkey, an online service for people who want to conduct questionnaires and polls and is credited with overseeing the company's growth to its current valuation of $2 billion.

"He was a perfect cross between a teddy bear and a tiger," former Yahoo President Sue Decker wrote on a tribute page for Goldberg, in a description echoed by others who knew him. Decker said she met Goldberg when they both worked as Yahoo executives, after that company acquired his startup, Launch Media.

Other tributes to Goldberg described his low-key humor, love for the Minnesota Vikings and his enthusiasm for playing poker, which reportedly led to occasional games with professional poker champ Phillip Hellmuth, among others.

MORE: Friends, admirers remember Dave Goldberg

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Reactions to Dave Goldberg's death
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Tech industry figures gather to mourn popular executive
My friend @davegoldberg kindest, most generous, loving father, loyal husband, great ceo, & sweetest friend. May his memory be a blessing.
Life isn't fair. Life is too short. Hug your loved ones! https://t.co/K36mnsSZen
Oh, @sherylsandberg this wife and mother's heart is breaking for you. I am so, so sad for your loss and wish you peace.
Just logged on and saw the terrible news. RIP @davegoldberg, one of the nicest people I've known. http://t.co/tqI3CvuvCc
My personal reflections on Dave Goldberg (@davegoldberg), and why I will always strive to "be like Dave." http://t.co/jSLfJVtSEs
Sending out comfort & love to @sherylsandberg and her family for the great loss of her beloved husband, @davegoldberg http://t.co/Tu3CLgYzeS
We're gonna miss you Goldie; RIP Dave Goldberg http://t.co/p6UXrJZik8
terrible news: dave goldberg passed away. my deep condolences to @sherylsandberg and the entire family. he was a spectacular person.
So sorry to hear about Dave Goldberg. Such a great guy. A big loss for all who knew him. http://t.co/Yiw7ZwRRi4
I never heard anyone say a disparaging word about @davegoldberg. Ever. Almost unheard of when it comes to successful people in S. Valley
5/want to write all day about @davegoldberg, but I'm sobbing on keyboard just thinking of his smile -- go hug your kids everyone. #goldie
Unbelievably sad news. Dave Goldberg was a great friend, kind, generous, funny, and always wise. My thoughts go out to his family.
Love your family + your friends. Be thoughtful. Work hard. Strive to improve. Help others. Dave Goldberg aced all of these. Love ya Goldie.
So sad about the loss of our friend @davegoldberg. A great mentor and role model to many of us.
Devastated to hear about loss of @davegoldberg. One of kindest & most generous friends I've known. My heart goes out to Sheryl & his family
Just unbelievably tragic to hear that @davegoldberg died last night. All of my love and prayers go to @sherylsandberg and family today.
Just devastating. @davegoldberg was one of the kindest, most generous souls in this town/world http://t.co/0y4B94DdGY A terrible loss.
Devastating. There are no words. My heart is heavy for Dave and Sheryl's families. RIP Dave Goldberg. https://t.co/5W2TdTA0bm
rest in piece @davegoldberg, thoughts and prayers are with @sherylsandberg and family.
Heartsick to hear of @davegoldberg's passing. We'd see each other professionally, & end up talking history, kids, etc. Smart, kind, open.
Stunned and heartbroken to hear about the passing of Dave Goldberg. A truly wonderful man. I'll miss him terribly.
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Sandberg and Goldberg married in 2004; they have two children. He and Sandberg had frequently spoken about their efforts to leave work in time to spend evening hours with their children, even if it meant going online to resume work from home after the kids had gone to bed.

Goldberg was a former executive at Capitol Records, where he helped develop a program to sell CDs at Starbucks outlets, before he started Launch Media to publish a digital music magazine. He later ran music programs for Yahoo and was an "entrepreneur in residence" at Benchmark Capital, a Silicon Valley venture firm, where he provided advice and helped identify promising startup companies.

Tuesday's memorial also drew business leaders from outside Silicon Valley. Sandberg is a director of the Walt Disney Co., which moved up its previously scheduled earnings report to Tuesday morning so executives could attend the service.

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