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Google Exec Dan Fredinburg Killed in Nepal Earthquake

He "died chasing his dreams" at the base camp of Mount Everest.

Instagram / @danfredinburg

Dan Fredinburg, a longtime Googler who headed privacy for Google X and product management for the overall privacy team, died this morning of a head injury after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest.

An experienced climber, Fredinburg co-founded in his spare time Google Adventure, a company team that “translate[d] the Google Street View concept into extreme, exotic locations like the summit of Mount Everest or the Great Barrier Reef off Australia,” as described by Startup Grind. He, along with fellow Googlers Michele Battelli and Flo Nagl, were scaling the world’s tallest mountain one year after an avalanche there killed 16 sherpas.

His sister Megan confirmed his passing in a post on his Instagram account. Two others in his party suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to their mountaineering company Jagged Globe:

1847 BST. It is with the greatest sorrow that we report the death of one of our Everest team members, Daniel Fredinburg. Two other team members have non-life threatening injuries, as a result of the avalanche that struck base camp during the earthquake and its aftershocks. They are being looked after in base camp. All Sherpas and other team members are uninjured and are safe in base camp or in Gorak Shep, a nearby cluster of tea houses and lodges.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan’s family and friends whilst we pray too for all those who have lost their lives in one of the greatest tragedies ever to hit this Himalayan nation.

In total, more than 1,100 people were killed by the earthquake, including 18 Mount Everest climbers. It’s said to be the worst earthquake in Nepal in the past 80 years.

Friends and coworkers took to the Web to share their remembrances of Fredinburg and their sympathies for his family:

Fredinburg co-founded a climate change nonprofit, Save The Ice, and a startup accelerator in San Francisco called The Laundry, which focused on bringing technology to emerging markets.

And here’s a statement Google’s privacy director Lawrence You sent to all of the company’s employees earlier today:

Early this morning, Nepal experienced the worst earthquake in its history, registering 7.8 on the Richter Scale. Current reports are that over 1,000 people were killed. It’s a terrible tragedy.

Sadly, we lost one of our own in this tragedy. Dan Fredinburg, a long-time member of the Privacy organization 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.

The Crisis Response team has launched Person Finder for Nepal, and is working to get updated satellite imagery to aid in the recovery effort. is committing $1M to the response, and we’ll have gift-matching available soon.

Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal, and with Dan’s family and friends during this terrible time.

This article originally appeared on

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