Tom Alberg Obituary, Death – Alberg was a co-founder of Madrona Venture Group, which has invested in technology firms in the Pacific Northwest for the past 27 years. Best recognized for his early investment in Amazon, he served on the company’s board for 23 years and helped lead it through the years when it lost enormous sums of money before becoming the e-commerce behemoth that now dominates retail in the United States and internationally. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, tweeted that Alberg was “a visionary and a beautiful, good man. Tom, I felt very fortunate to have you in my life.”
Andy Jassy, Bezos’s replacement as CEO of Amazon, stated that while Alberg’s “professional & civic accomplishments were numerous,” what most impressed him was “his character — modest, high integrity, missionary, cared about his neighborhood — as good as they come.” Prior to Amazon’s retail revolution, Alberg’s concentration on technology clients helped expand Perkins Coie into the largest law firm in the Northwest, where he served as lead outside counsel to Boeing and Alaska Airlines. And he assumed a position of authority with McCaw Cellular, which later became AT&T Wireless. ADVERTISING He contributed to the growth of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington.
In addition, he collaborated with CEOs of key Seattle corporations and former Governor Chris Gregoire to establish Challenge Seattle, a center for business and community leaders to address regional civic challenges. He was one of the major developers of the downtown Seattle Four Seasons Hotel. Additionally, he converted his family’s Carnation farm into the non-profit Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, which does research and implements sustainable farming. In Woodinville, he co-founded Novelty Hill and Januik wineries. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, was among the corporate leaders in the region who expressed their condolences on Saturday following the announcement of his death.
“Through his labor, vision, and humanity, he had a great impact on our industry and community,” stated Nadella of Alberg. Alberg, the grandson of a Swedish immigrant, grew up and attended high school in Ballard. He worked on the Oxbow family farm, which he eventually transformed into the nonprofit organization. He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a law degree from Columbia Law School, where he served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review. He was an attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City prior to joining Perkins Coie in Seattle. Redfin of Seattle, a tech-based real estate company; Apptio of Bellevue, which creates business management software; and Impinj of Seattle, which manufactures radio-frequency identification devices and software, are among the startups Alberg sponsored and directed at Madrona.
Alberg is survived by his second wife, Judi Beck, as well as five children, Robert, Katherine Anderson, John, Carson, and Jessica, as well as four grandchildren. The family prefers that contributions be sent to the Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center in lieu of flowers. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated when Alberg had suffered a stroke. Not last month, but around a year ago.