Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg paid tribute to the company’s very first executive chef, Josef Desimone, who died yesterday in a motorcycle accident.
We first saw the news on TechCrunch.
Facebook hired Desimone away from Google back in 2008. At the time, it was regarded as a step down. But Desimone reportedly had personal loyalty to vp/global sales Sheryl Sandberg while at Google. (Sandberg became Facebook’s COO.)
“Josef was Sheryl’s favourite chef at Google,” one ex-Googler told Gawker in 2008. “Every time she moved buildings, so did he.”
While at Facebook, Desimone became a legend, Zuckerberg wrote yesterday:
“I have some very sad news to share.
This morning Josef Desimone, our executive chef, was involved in a motorcycle accident and I’m sorry to report that Josef has passed away.
Josef was a Facebook legend and institution. “Chef Josef” joined us in 2008 and built our culinary team from a handful of employees in a single café into a global team with dozens of world class restaurants. He never compromised on quality while maintaining total attention to detail. Josef played an incredibly important role in defining our culture during those first years and right up to the present.
Away from Facebook, Josef was just as energetic and driven. Almost every weekend he was volunteering with veterans’ organisations, hosting firefighter breakfasts or supporting some other valuable cause. He had a strong belief in giving back more in life than he took, and it shows in all the people who mourn him today.
We will find a way to permanently honour Josef’s legacy at Facebook soon. For now, let’s remember and celebrate the passing of a great friend, devoted mentor and inspirational leader.”
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