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Founder of WebTV, Mailblocks Dies

Phil Goldman, founder and CEO of spam-free e-mail provider Mailblocks, died at his home the evening of Dec. 25, according to the company.

Cause of death has not yet been determined and a spokesperson for the company said it might take several weeks before the results are known. Services were held Sunday at Peninsula Temple Shalom in Burlingame, California.

The news came as a shock to friends and co-workers as Goldman was reportedly in good heath. He was 39. An avid fitness enthusiast, the company said Goldman was someone who watched his diet carefully.

Goldman, who founded Los Altos, Calif.-based Mailblocks in 2002, spent more than 20 years in technology and consumer service development. Most recently he served as Vice President of Advanced TV Services at Microsoft. He was a founder of WebTV Networks. Before WebTV, Phil served as Director of Communication Products at General Magic and helped modernize the Mac OS at Apple Computer.

A noted technologist and entrepreneur, Goldman held 19 U.S. Patents with many more pending. A graduate of Princeton University, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and was honored as the top student in the School of Engineering. He served as the chair of the university's Computer Science department advisory council.

Mailblocks said it will continue operating under the direction of Susan Bratton, VP sales and marketing; Rich Landsman, VP engineering; and Phil Steffora, VP of network operations.

"Phil was a revered leader," Bratton said in a statement. "His approach to business was an intelligent balance of foresight and risk-taking. Phil will be deeply missed." Goldman is survived by his wife Susan, two children, his parents and two brothers. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Brave Kids (www.bravekids.org). The Los Angeles-based non-profit organization uses the Internet to serve children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses and disabilities. Goldman served on the board of directors.