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The hardest post

Posted on 17 Oct 2006 by Zopa

It is with enormous sadness and regret that I write these words on behalf of everyone at Zopa.

Richard Duvall, our co-founder and CEO quietly passed away early on Monday morning, with his family by his side, after a short battle with cancer. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family.

It is very hard for me to put into words how we are all feeling at this time - but we wanted to tell you, our members, what has happened to Richard, and what this means for Zopa.

Richard was always a lot more than a CEO. To those who knew him or worked with him, he was simply an amazing human being. Passionate, inspirational, possessed of an extraordinary creativity, intelligence and gentleness - a husband, a leader, a father, and a friend.

Over the years that many of us at Zopa had known Richard, he was unceasing in his commitment both to the companies he was involved in, and the individuals he worked with. His understanding of people was unerring, and he would do whatever he was able to bring out the full potential of those he knew. We have all benefited from the times we spent with him, and become better people through his efforts.

His passing leaves us all with a hole in our lives that is uniquely Richard. He is irreplacable and yet we, and Zopa, must move on without him.

Zopa will continue to be led in the UK by James, and our San Francisco team continues to work towards launch in the US. Our Chairman and our investors remain totally committed to the success of Zopa and believe that we are well positioned for strong growth in the coming months.

There is no question that we will miss Richard intensely, but although we are a company in mourning, we believe that Richard’s memory is best served by building Zopa into the company he hoped it would be, and we are committed to achieving that.

For those that knew Richard (or even those that didn’t) - please feel free to write something in the comments - a memory, condolences or just goodbye. We will collect these, and pass them to Richard’s family.

Richard’s wife Krys has asked that rather than send flowers, if people would like to give, they donate to Pancreatic Cancer UK. To this end, we have set up a page at JustGiving to collect - please give generously.

Thank you.

UPDATE: As of Friday afternoon (20/10) we’ve raised £840, thank you to everyone who has contributed. I have had a letter from the founder of Pancreatic Cancer UK thanking us for our support - they are hugely appreciative of our efforts.

UPDATE: Friday evening - thanks to a wonderful contribution from Bessemer Venture Partners, we have met the first target of £1,500, and so I have increased the target to £3,000. Thank you to everyone for your generosity.

UPDATE: Tuesday 24th - Thanks to yet more kind donations, we have met the £3,000 target, and so I have increased it again to £5,000 - thank you all again.

Richard Duvall. 24/1/62 - 16/10/06

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