Dave Goldberg

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Chicago, Illinois
Birth Sign
Chicago, Illinois

Dave Goldberg (David Bruce) was a management consultant and entrepreneur from the United States. Dave Goldberg was a man who loved to wear many hats. He was one of the early proponents of the dotcom revolution and a prominent towering figure in the Silicon Valley scenario until his untimely death. He had done it all, from selling his first start-up in a multi-million dollar deal at the age of 26 to later sponsoring some of the most successful start-ups himself. People who had the good pleasure of getting in touch with him would miss his helpful and humorous demeanor more than anything else. Dave was a true businessman in every meaning of the term. His intellect and resourcefulness ensured that whatever project he was involved in was a huge success. His successful marriage to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was the buzz of the town. Even in the competitive environment of Silicon Valley, his tragic and most untimely death has left a vacuum.

Childhood and Adolescence

On October 2, 1967, David Bruce “Dave” Goldberg was born to Paula and Melvin Bert “Mel” Goldberg. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, despite being born in Chicago, Illinois.

Dave was born into a wealthy household. His father worked at the William Mitchell College of Law as an associate dean. Paula, his mother, is a successful entrepreneur who launched Pacer Center in the late 1970s as a place for children with impairments and has subsequently expanded to a variety of areas. To this day, she is the Executive Director of Pacer Center.

Dave’s early schooling was completed at Blake School in his hometown, where he graduated in 1985. He went on to Harvard University, where he studied History and Government. He was a stellar student who received a magna cum laude from Harvard in 1989.

Dave was pursuing a law degree at the time. However, he had a change of heart only weeks before starting law school and realized he didn’t want to start his own practice.

Career of Dave Goldberg

After graduating from Harvard, Dave began his job as a consultant with Brian and Co. He spent two years with them, dividing his time between Sydney, Boston, and San Francisco. He enjoyed his work, but it was here that he realized he wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer.

Dave’s career took a rapid swing once he left Brian. He worked as a consultant before joining Capitol Records as the director of marketing strategy and new business development. Brian had no prior marketing experience, but he had a strong enthusiasm for music, which helped him earn the job. He did a fantastic job at Capitol Records, coming up with new and imaginative concepts that resulted in a massive increase in sales.

Dave was a key figure in some of Capitol’s most aggressive music marketing strategies. When video games got viral, he was the mastermind behind selling music with them. He was also one of the key thinkers behind the Starbucks-Capitol relationship. Starbucks was required to sell a certain amount of CDs as part of their agreement. The collaboration lasted an incredible 22 years.

He left Capitol in 1993 to pursue his dream of starting his own business. He had some fantastic ideas about selling music, and he launched Launch Media in 1994 with some financial assistance from family and friends. The main premise was that only a small portion of the massive amount of music produced in the United States was being broadcast on television and radio, while the rest was being buried. He wants to open up this previously underserved market.

Launch Media began as a monthly CD subscription service featuring live performances and interviews with musicians. The revenue generated by advertisements supported Dave’s business model. It later began streaming music online as part of the internet revolution, becoming one of the first companies to do so.

Launch Media was estimated to be worth around $300 million at the height of its success. It piqued the interest of Yahoo!, the world’s largest internet company at the time. However, when the internet bubble burst in 1999, the stock of both the companies came crashing down to less than 90 percent of their value. This devalued Launch Media drastically, and when Yahoo! finally acquired it in 2001, after more than a year of negotiating, it was for just 15 million USD.

When Yahoo! acquired Launch Media, Dave was also offered a position at Yahoo! He worked with the internet company for more than 6 years before quitting in 2007. At that time, Launch Media was the largest music and video website on the planet with over 60 million unique users.

After leaving Yahoo!, Dave served a brief stint at a VC Firm called Benchmark. He was there for nearly two years between 2007 and 2009.

Goldberg joined as the CEO of SurveyMonkey in 2009 and remained in that post till his untimely death in 2015. During his tenure, SurveyMonkey’s growth was phenomenal. According to the last reports, the company has had 113 million in revenue at a 2 billion dollar valuation.

The growth of the company has been nothing short of monumental. From only 14 employees when Goldberg started to over 500 employees today, SurveyMonkey conducts over 90 million surveys per month in 60 languages. It has also partnered with some of the biggest companies in the world such as Hootsuite, Salesforce, MailChimp, and Zendesk.

Personal Life and Legacy

Despite his meteoric successes over the years, Dave Goldberg is probably best known for his marriage with Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, and one Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women. The two met in Los Angeles in 1996 and got married in 2004. They had two children together and lived mostly in Menlo Park, California. Being one of the most influential and popular couples in the Silicon Valley, Goldberg and Sandberg redefined the concept of power couples.

On May 1, 2015, Dave met with an accident while he was exercising on his treadmill while holidaying in Mexico. He fell down and suffered a head trauma along with a lot of blood loss. He was pronounced dead after he was brought at the hospital. The news of his shocking demise seeped into the Silicon Valley and brought over a pall of gloom over it.

Goldberg’s memorial service was held on May 5, 2015 and was attended by the who’s who of the Silicon Valley. U2 front-man Bono and Hollywood star Ben Affleck were also in attendance. CEOs of major corporations, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Dick Costollo, paid their tributes to the jolly and full of life entrepreneur.

Estimated Net Worth

There is no information about his salary and net worth. His wife has around $1.6 billion.


Dave and Sheryl, while being as busy as they were with their corporate commitments, always found time for family. Both of them would leave office by 5:30 pm everyday to spend time with their two children.