AWS Elemental Co-Founder and CEO Sam Blackman Passes Away

Was 41 years old August 29, 2017

PORTLAND, ORE.—TV Technology is saddened to report the untimely passing of AWS Elemental CEO Sam Blackman at the age of 41. 

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Sam Blackman

After founding Elemental Technologies in 2006 with Brian Lewis and Jesse Rosenzweig, Blackman led the company from a tiny start-up to one of Portland’s major employers before selling it to Amazon in 2015 for $296 million. He stayed on as CEO.

It is reported that Blackman suffered a cardiac arrest over the weekend.

An AWS Elemental spokesperson said: “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.”

A statement from Blackman’s family read: “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.”

Prior to the creation of Elemental, Blackman designed integrated circuit products for Pixelworks. He also held engineering positions at Silicon Graphics and Intel Corporation.

He leaves behind a wife and two young sons.

The Blackman family has asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers to three areas Blackman gave back to, the Oregon Food Bank, Forest Park Conservancy and Rosemary Anderson High School.

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