Google executive killed in Nepal earthquake while hiking Everest

Google exec killed in Nepal lived 'life based on happiness'
Google exec killed in Nepal lived 'life based on happiness'

Google executive Dan Fredinburg died while climbing Mt. Everest during the massive Nepal earthquake on Saturday.

Fredinburg was privacy director for the company's Google X team, which is responsible for some of the search company's more forward-thinking initiatives, including driverless cars and Google Glass.

A frequent and experienced climber, Fredinburg was scaling Everest with two other Google (GOOGL) employees this weekend, while a 7.8-magnitude earthquake caused an avalanche.

Though the other two Googlers survived along with other sherpas and climbing team members, Fredinburg succumbed to a severe head injury, according to an Instagram post on his account written by his sister.

"We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us," his sister Megan wrote. "All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us."

His girlfriend, Ashley Arenson, called Fredinburg "magical" in a CNN interview on Sunday.

"He had this way of making the people around him just feel special without even trying, and make people feel feel like they could accomplish anything they wanted," Arenson said.

Related: Impact your world

Fredinburg formed the Google Adventure Team, which mapped exotic locations for Google's Street View tool. The team took 360-degree photos of the summit of Mt. Everest and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, among others.

A Google executive who made headlines for dating actress Sophia Bush, Fredinburg had been posting photos and updates of his adventures in Nepal on Instagram and Twitter, where he referred to himself as an "adventurer, inventor, and energetic engineer."

Bush shared her grief on Instagram, calling Fredinburg "one of my favorite human beings" and "one of the great loves" of her life.

"Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I'll likely never find them all," she wrote. "Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend."

Dan Fredinburg sophia bush
Dan Fredinburg with Sophia Bush at the Do Something Awards in Los Angeles in July 2013.

Fredinburg was scaling Everest with a group organized by Jagged Globe, which has offered mountaineering expeditions, courses, adventure skiing and other experiences for the past 20 years.

The expedition company sent its condolences.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan's family and friends," read a statement on Jagged Globe's website, "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 a blog post, Fredinburg's boss, Google's privacy director Lawrence You, said that Google's crisis response team has launched Person Finder to help victims families locate their loved ones. Google is also working to get updated satellite imagery to help the recovery effort.

You noted that Google.org is committing $1 million to the response, and the company will offer gift-matching to its employees soon.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal, and with Dan's family and friends during this terrible time," You wrote.

--CNNMoney's Laurie Segall and CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

google executive nepal earthquake
Dan Fredinburg, who was privacy director for Google X, was an experienced climber.

Personal Finance

CNNMoney Sponsors