Facebook’s executive chef, Josef Desimone, died in a tragic motorcycle accident on Monday.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared the sad news on Facebook Monday night, saying that Desimone was crucial in defining Facebook’s culture in the early years, and that the company will soon find a way to permanently honor Desimone’s legacy.
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’ organizations, 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 honor Josef’s legacy at Facebook soon. For now, let’s remember and celebrate the passing of a great friend, devoted mentor and inspirational leader.
Other Facebook execs shared their condolences on the site. Here’s what COO Sheryl Sandberg had to say:
I am very sad to share the tragic news that our colleague and friend, Josef Desimone, passed away earlier today.
I had the honor of working with Josef for over the past 11 years, first at Google and then at Facebook. Wherever Josef was, everything was not only delicious, but filled with joy and a love of life. He was a dedicated colleague who cared deeply about all of those around him, a perfectionist who worked hard each day to give his very best to his community, and an inspiration.
We will truly miss you, Josef.
And here’s what VP of Communications and Public Policy Elliot Schrage had to say:
I’m one of many people who’s life was improved by knowing Josef L. Desimone. He was an extraordinary person — passionate, dedicated, inspirational. He helped shape the culture that exists at Facebook today and built a team (indeed, a company) that will carry on his legacy. We’ll miss him greatly.
Desimone previously worked as the corporate chef at Google, and Facebook poached him back in 2008.