Parents of dead Google exec mourn 'tragic accident'

james howard google cannes
The parents of James Howard, a Google executive killed in France last weekend, said they lost their 'beloved son in a tragic accident.'

The parents of James Howard, a Google executive killed in France on Sunday, are speaking publicly for the first time since his accident.

"We lost our beloved son James in a tragic accident in Cannes this week," said Margaret and John Howard in a statement. "We ask that the media respect the privacy of our family, his partner Eleanor and James's friends at this very difficult time."

Howard died while attending the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France. He was 29 years old and led Google's brand marketing team in the United Kingdom.

His most recent project, a 3-D interactive tour of the Abbey Road Studios, won a design award at the Cannes Lions this week. "Inside Abbey Road" provides the ability for people to see inside the famous studio where the Beatles recorded their albums and view historical photographs and videos.

Howard's final tweet, sent on May 4, was a retweet of praise for Inside Abbey Road.

"We lost a loved and respected member of our team," Google said. "We are deeply saddened and our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Though news of Howard's death became public on Wednesday, Google (GOOGL) had initially declined to reveal Howard's name, citing his family's wishes. The company and family have still declined to provide any details about the circumstances of the death.

But local police told CNN that a U.K. resident died in an accident during the night of June 21. He was run over by a taxi on the public highway.

Howard is the second from Google to be killed in recent months. Google executive Dan Fredinburg died while climbing Mt. Everest during the massive Nepal earthquake in late April.

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.

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