Dan Fredinburg, a respected Google executive who headed privacy for Google X and led its product management team, has died in the avalanche on Mount Everest which was triggered by the huge earthquake in Nepal.
The natural disaster has already killed over 3,000 people in the region and devastated infrastructure. Some 18 other climbers have been killed in what is being described as the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in the last 80 years. By all accounts, Fredinburg was an experienced climber who had also co-founded Google Adventure, a company team that filmed Google Street View images in “extreme, exotic locations like the summit of Mount Everest or the Great Barrier Reef off Australia.”
Fredinburg’s sister Megan confirmed his death via his Instagram account, while Google’s privacy director Lawrence posted the following on Monday: “Dan Fredinburg, a long-time member of the Privacy organisation in Mountain View, was in Nepal with three other Googlers, hiking Mount Everest. He has passed away. The other three Googlers with him are safe and we are working to get them home quickly.”
He added that Google’s Crisis Response team has launched Person Finder for Nepal, and “is working to get updated satellite imagery to aid in the recovery effort. Google.org is committing $1M to the response, and we’ll have gift-matching available soon.”
Fredinburg co-founded a climate change nonprofit, Save The Ice, and a startup accelerator in San Francisco called The Laundry, aimed at taking technology to emerging markets.
Some friends of Fredinburg have put up a Crowdrise allowing others to donate to causes he supported.