David Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey.com and husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, died May 1. He was 47.

His brother, Robert Goldberg, confirmed the death in a Facebook post, but no other details were given.

Mr. Goldberg sold his first start-up, Launch Media, to Yahoo and joined SurveyMonkey in 2009. He and Sandberg met in 1996 while they were both working in Los Angeles, according to a 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Sandberg, author of the best-selling book “Lean In,” frequently wrote and talked about how Mr. Goldberg was a crucial partner in her career, supporting her in small ways and large, such as persuading her to join Facebook even though they had a 6-month-old daughter at the time.

“I wrote in ‘Lean In’ that the most important decision a woman makes is if she has a life partner and who that life partner will be. The best decision I ever made was to marry Dave,” Sandberg wrote in a March 5 Facebook post.

David Bruce Goldberg was born in Chicago on Oct. 2, 1967, and grew up in Minneapolis. His mother is co-founder and executive director of the Pacer Center, a Minnesota nonprofit group that assists parents of disabled children and young adults. His father was an associate dean and professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

Mr. Goldberg graduated from Harvard University in 1989 and lived with Sandberg and their children in Menlo Park, Calif.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Goldberg worked as a director of business development at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. He founded Launch Media, which delivered music and music-related content online, in 1994 and sold it to Yahoo amid the dot-com bust of 2001. Billboard magazine named him one of the top “power players” in digital music in 2006. He was a member of the board of Graham Holdings, the former Washington Post Co.

SurveyMonkey, an online questionnaire service, raised $250 million in venture capital funding in December. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is profitable and has more than 20 million customers.

Mr. Goldberg’s Facebook page quickly filled up with anecdotes and condolences from executives and entrepreneurs.

CORRECTION: The obituary incorrectly reported that Mr. Goldberg was born in Minneapolis. He was born in Chicago and raised in Minneapolis. The obituary has been updated.

— Bloomberg News

Stephen Lam


David Goldberg sold his first start-up, Launch Media, to Yahoo and joined SurveyMonkey in 2009.

Rick Wilking


Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, arrives with her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, for the first day of the Allen and Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho in this July 9, 2014.