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Goldberg treadmill tragedy death

Published 05/05/2015

David Goldberg, pictured with his wife Sheryl Sandberg, apparently slipped while on a gym treadmill (AP)
David Goldberg, pictured with his wife Sheryl Sandberg, apparently slipped while on a gym treadmill (AP)

SurveyMonkey chief executive David Goldberg suffered a massive, fatal head injury while exercising at a gym in a Mexican resort, a person close to his family has said.

Efforts to revive Mr Goldberg, 47, the husband of Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, were unsuccessful. He was on holiday with family and friends when the tragedy happened.

The family is planning a private service in Silicon Valley, California, today.

Mr Goldberg died of severe head trauma in Friday's accident at a resort in the Mexican town of Punta Mita, near Puerto Vallarta . He was found lying next to a treadmill.

The popular Silicon Valley executive, whose company runs an online service for people who want to conduct questionnaires and polls, died later that night. His company and family members confirmed his death on Saturday, but did not give a cause, leading to widespread speculation.

Mr Goldberg left his room at about 4pm to exercise and family members went to look for him after he did not return, a Mexican state official said. He was found at about 6.30pm in one of the resort's gyms lying by a treadmill in a pool of blood from a blow to the lower back of his head.

He apparently slipped on the treadmill and hit the machine, said the official. The cause of death was severe head trauma and bleeding.

The official said the family checked in to the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, an exclusive complex where rooms start at 500 dollars (£330) a night and villas at up to 5,000 dollars (£3,300) a night, on Thursday.

The Four Seasons had issued a statement saying the incident did not happen on any of its properties and that Mr Goldberg was not registered as a guest in any of the resort's rooms, villas or residences.

But Nayarit state officials said it was the location and that the family had checked in on Thursday.

In an interview last month, Mr Goldberg told the news site Business Insider of maxing out his credit cards in the early 1990s to fund one of his first internet ventures, a music site, before going on to work at other tech companies, including Yahoo.

In 2004 he married Ms Sandberg, another long-time tech executive who now serves as chief operating officer of Facebook.

Ms Sandberg launched an international conversation about the dearth of women in positions of power with her 2011 book, Lean In: Women, Work And The Will To Lead. In it, she wrote of the adjustments she and her husband had to make to manage two high-profile careers while raising two children.

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