Elemental founder Sam Blackman dies at 41
Sam Blackman, the CEO of AWS Elemental, has died.
The 41-year-old died on Sunday. Sources close the company told The Lake Oswego Review that the avid biker and runner suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
Blackman, who graduated from Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego in 1994, founded AWS Elemental, which makes software for coordinating the streaming of huge broadcast events such as the Olympcs and UEFA Champions League soccer. in 2006. He sold the company to Amazon in 2015 for $296 million and remained as CEO.
Blackman moved into his new office on Friday, Aug. 18. In fine sprits and looking tan and fit, he gave a media tour of the space on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Two days later, he was dead.
Blackman is survived by his wife Adriane and their two young sons. His mother, Susan Blackman, still lives in Lake Oswego.
The family said, "Sam died peacefully yesterday surrounded by his loved ones. In his private life, he cherished his family, and in his public life he cherished his community and the business he founded, Elemental Technologies. He was a passionate advocate for community service who rallied so many towards a greater good for the environment, hunger, education and inclusion. We are thankful to all those who have shared their thoughts and prayers for Sam. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grief."
The company released the following statement after Blackman's death:
"AWS Elemental has lost a passionate, visionary and humble leader and the world has lost an inspiring human being dedicated to community. Sam's spirit will always be at the core of what we do. Sam loved his work, but his greatest love was for his wife and children. Our thoughts are with his family and all those he touched on his journey."
Blackman was considered a leading light of the Portland tech world, both for the rapid growth and exit of Elemental, but also the company's genuine philanthropic efforts.
On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown's office issued a statement.
"Sam Blackman was a beacon of Oregon's tech community," Brown said. "Sam brought energy, innovation, and jobs to an important and fast growing sector of Oregon's economy. But more importantly, he did so with a commitment to Oregon's values. As CEO of Elemental and later with Amazon, he led the company to grow financially while engaging civically on issues like education, hunger, and the environment. Sam's approach made Oregonians stronger while helping build the economy that they rely on. My heart is with his family and friends today, and I thank him for the important contributions he made to the entire state."