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Apple Global Data Center Director Olivier Sanche dies at 41

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Olivier Sanche, the head of Apple's global data center operations, died of a heart attack on Thanksgiving; he was 41.

The loss comes as a shock not only to Apple, but to the data center industry in general, as Sanche was a pioneer in data center efficiency and a leader in thinking differently about the planning and construction of data centers in general.

Sanche joined Apple in August of last year, when he began overseeing preparations for the company's $1 billion new North Carolina data center. He has previously worked for eBay, where he managed the development and construction of that company's Topaz center in Utah, which was recently awarded a LEED Gold certification for its environmentally sustainable design.

Sanche was a passionate advocate of green, efficient, sustainable data center design, a subject involving not just total energy consumption but also water consumption, eWaste, and other environmental concerns. His concern for the environment fit into Apple's decisive but rarely advertised push to achieve environmentally sustainable balance in its product design, construction, transportation, packaging and general operations, as part of a codified standard of conduct that also involves the labor practices, occupational health and safety policy and business ethics of both the company and its upstream suppliers.

An associate noted that Sanche "loved being at Apple as he could do things he could get done no where else. He had vision, passion, and drive to do the right thing, especially for the environment. One of the sadder parts is Olivier couldnt talk about what he was doing at Apple, but we had many other data center things we could talk about without touching on any Apple topics."

Apple has yet to publicly reveal how it will be using the massive new data center Sanche helped build, but is expected to do so soon. In July, Apple's chief financial officer Peter Openheimer responded to questions about the data center by saying, simply, "North Carolina is on schedule. Everything is going fine. We expect to complete it by the end of the calendar year, and begin to use it."

A month ago, the center was reported to be "fully operational" and ready to begin operations "any day now."
post #2 of 58
Not sure what to say, other than it's sad to hear a good man like this die. I'm sure his work on this site will be ground breaking and I'm looking forward to see what he did with the center. I'm sure it'll be pretty cool, so his legacy will live on and he'll probably be honored, maybe even have the building named after him.
post #3 of 58
How the hell do you die at age 41?
post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

How the hell do you die at age 41?

Timeless question.

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post #5 of 58
RIP Olivier Sanche... Sadly, Apple can name the Data Center after him...
post #6 of 58
Genetics and stress.
post #7 of 58
that's crazy young
post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

How the hell do you die at age 41?

He was a big guy. Eat enough hamburgers and anyone can join him.



Also, probably under a great deal of stress, and the weight gain seems recent by the pictures on the web.
A classic heart-attack victim actually, in terms of age, weight, gender, etc.

Remember folks, 50% don't survive their very *first* heart attack. You don't necessarily get any warning.
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

He was a big guy. Eat enough hamburgers and anyone can join him.


Great Prof., blame the victim. I know it's just your psychological defense so you can go on believing that "it happened to him, but it can't happen to me".

Guess what...you ARE going to die of something...and for the most part, you have little, if no, control in the matter.

My condolences to Mr. Sanche's family for their loss.
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

How the hell do you die at age 41?

Apparently his heart lacked load balancing and finally ran out of bandwidth.

RIP

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post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

He was a big guy...

That's cold, especially if you read what the rest of the web has to say about Olivier. Do a Google search and be sure to read Mike Manos and look at the picture on green3m, then get back to us.

Take a walk down Main Street, USA, and you will realize that preexisting conditions enters into the equation.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

Guess what...you ARE going to die of something...and for the most part, you have little, if no, control in the matter.

Not true. Your fatalistic view flies in the face of conventional medical wisdom. It is well established that being obese is among the major factors in heart attack. You have full control over this. It may not be easy, but it is doable. Other controllable major causes are smoking and lack of exercise. I don't know if Olivier smoked or got exercise, but his appearance shows obesity.

It is really sad that a man who promoted good stewardship of the earth should die so young for any reason. That it may have been an unnecessarily early death is dismaying.
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post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennywse View Post

Not sure what to say, other than it's sad to hear a good man like this die. I'm sure his work on this site will be ground breaking and I'm looking forward to see what he did with the center. I'm sure it'll be pretty cool, so his legacy will live on and he'll probably be honored, maybe even have the building named after him.


Very good of you to say! My sentiments, also!

Best
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

...but his appearance shows obesity.

Tragic for his family....but I do agree with Robin. It takes a lot of work to maintain a healthy weight.

We are eating like kids at a carnival....every day! Sugar, salt, fat, caffeine, etc., etc.

And I know we have free will but food manufacturers are deliberately adding as much salt, sugar, fat as they can to change the brain's chemistry so we want more and more.

Again, very sad for his family!

Best
post #15 of 58
There's certainly room for a discussion about how 'heavy' America has become. We are by far a very indulgent society that's become fat on processed foods, sugars, salt, and high empty calorie meals. The smallest amount of research demonstrates the quantity of food in everything from frozen dinners to restaurants has literally grown past what the human stomach was designed to intake in one seating.

Sure, genetics plays a small part, but the overwhelming vast majority of Americans are overweight due to overeating and lack of exercise. Yes, there are some outliers who have medical or genetic dispositions to put on weight - but most of us are kidding ourselves by thinking "genetics" are the cause of our obesity.

That said, this posting, this website, this poor man's life isn't the place for such a discussion.

How 'bout that next gen iPad?

Off to the gym....
post #16 of 58
All the best to his family, he sounded like a really nice guy. At least his vision materialized with this new data center. May the good lord keep him.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

Great Prof., blame the victim. I know it's just your psychological defense so you can go on believing that "it happened to him, but it can't happen to me".

"Blame the victim"?! Take responsibility for your own actions! He wasn't a "victim", he was seriously overweight which leads to health problems (obviously).

It's very unfortunate and I feel for his family but it should be a wakeup call for people that you can't just abuse your family and expect to live a health life.

Americans are way too fat.
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

Great Prof., blame the victim. I know it's just your psychological defense so you can go on believing that "it happened to him, but it can't happen to me".

Guess what...you ARE going to die of something...and for the most part, you have little, if no, control in the matter.

My condolences to Mr. Sanche's family for their loss.

I think you took my comment the wrong way. I wasn't blaming anyone, just stating the facts.

I've had enough folks die on me to know that no one is immortal also.

Well, except for me because I'm just a machine located in a deep underground cavern.
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by InfoDave View Post

That's cold, especially if you read what the rest of the web has to say about Olivier. ...

I don't get these reactions to my comments. It's not like I insulted him or anything. I could have said it innumerable other ruder ways. "Big guy" is supposed to be the nice euphemism that one uses instead of other harsher terms. Maybe I'm a "big guy" or "big girl" too, how would you know if I was or wasn't?

I was just stating the facts. The picture showed a morbidly obese person in his 40's. He also had a very high stress job. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what was likely to happen. A very similar looking acquaintance of mine dropped dead just last year at roughly the same age and weight.

The fact is a little more than half the time, the very first heart attack you have is fatal.

Could happen to anyone.
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

How the hell do you die at age 41?

My own father died of a major coronary burst at the age of 39.

Fortunately for myself, I follow my mother's side of the genes.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

He was a big guy. Eat enough hamburgers and anyone can join him.



Also, probably under a great deal of stress, and the weight gain seems recent by the pictures on the web.
A classic heart-attack victim actually, in terms of age, weight, gender, etc.

Remember folks, 50% don't survive their very *first* heart attack. You don't necessarily get any warning.

Lifestyle is a major player along with your genes. I will say my own dad was never heavy like this guy but his lifestyle after the divorce contributed to his demise. He was born with a murmur other heart issues and they found one side completely clogged from his autopsy.

I've got to worry about diabetes and cancer on my mother's side of the family, not heart issues.
post #22 of 58
Damn sad. Sorry to hear that someone died that young. I had a friend who also died at that age, a few years back.

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post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Tragic for his family....but I do agree with Robin. It takes a lot of work to maintain a healthy weight.

We are eating like kids at a carnival....every day! Sugar, salt, fat, caffeine, etc., etc.

Uhh so you stop eating like that. How does it take a lot of work? You are the person that's putting the food in your mouth, not someone else. Buy an apple or make a veggie sandwich instead of a burger; drink water and green tea instead of milk and junk drinks. Most importantly get out of any situation brings emotional stress or learn how to manage stress because you become what you think. Having no time or money to live right are just excuses.

Very sad to hear about this young man.
post #24 of 58
Welcome to healthy corporate lifestyle. Having that said I have survived Mr Sanche in corporations (quite a few of them) by a few years so far. I guess change due to life balance and not giving into corporate BS politics and policies has some positive effect.

From New York area...
(an Euro in the USA)
post #25 of 58
Well, being a data center manager for a major corporation is a very high stress job. Lots of late night and weekend work, always on call, and rarely enough credit for work done.

Didn't know Olivier, but who is the guy on the right in the Datacenter Dynamics panel photo... I do vaguely remember him.
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Not true. Your fatalistic view flies in the face of conventional medical wisdom. It is well established that being obese is among the major factors in heart attack. You have full control over this. It may not be easy, but it is doable. Other controllable major causes are smoking and lack of exercise. I don't know if Olivier smoked or got exercise, but his appearance shows obesity.

It is really sad that a man who promoted good stewardship of the earth should die so young for any reason. That it may have been an unnecessarily early death is dismaying.

Maybe, but as a doctor once said to me, "sometimes the first sign of heart disease is death."
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post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

How the hell do you die at age 41?

of a heart attack.
post #28 of 58
A shame he sounded like a real talent. He was only at Apple for a short time. Hopefully in the little over a year that he was there, he was able to put the gears in motion to make Apple's data centers extremely energy efficient. My thoughts go out to his children. It is always tough to loose someone in your immediate family especially at such a young age.
post #29 of 58
Message to AppleInsider.com:

I have no issue with you reporting this story, but please turn off ability of having people comment on such tragic story. The discussion on this story has been mostly pathetic. People, if you don't have any condolence messages for this gentleman you don't have to post anything here - Just read and move along. Someone lost a father, husband, brother or a son - Please don't discuss the cause of death and make crude remarks.
post #30 of 58
Worked to death at 41. Sad.
post #31 of 58
Everyone should learn CPR. It can literally save a life. Take a course at your local Red Cross if it's not offered by your employer.

Condolensces to his family and friends.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

RIP Olivier Sanche... Sadly, Apple can name the Data Center after him...

I was thinking the same thing. Great suggestion. The Sanche Data Center.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

I was thinking the same thing. Great suggestion. The Sanche Data Center.

Agreed. Not to mention if Apple could see about naming the street to the facility after him... Oliver Way maybe, or something to that effect? Need some sort of Memorial.

Saw a photo of him with his daughter. Nice looking family, I wish them the best and Rest in Peace Oliver Sanchez, Rest in Peace!

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post #34 of 58
Sad news indeed. Too young to leave but sucessful at 41

RIP
post #35 of 58
Very Sad. Especially at holiday time. Hopefully he will be remembered (for sure in the industry) by all.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

Great Prof., blame the victim. I know it's just your psychological defense so you can go on believing that "it happened to him, but it can't happen to me".

Guess what...you ARE going to die of something...and for the most part, you have little, if no, control in the matter.

My condolences to Mr. Sanche's family for their loss.

So very sad. BUT, Monsieur Sanche was obese by contemporary standards. This is not to any way "blame the victim" and his death could be attributed to many other factors certainly.

However, the American problem of poor eating, overeating, gluttony etc. is well known and not apocryphal. It kills 10s of thousands annually.

May his death not go unnoticed.
post #37 of 58
RIP Mr. Sanche. Thank you for everything you have contributed to this world.

I shall leave my judgments at the door, and hold only myself to them.
post #38 of 58
I think the best tribute Apple could pay him is to use that data center in some insanely great way that leaves our jaws on the floor.

And fix MobileMe.
post #39 of 58
Same kind of heart attack that killed Tom Wilkinson's character in "Michael Clayton."
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think you took my comment the wrong way. I wasn't blaming anyone, just stating the facts.

I've had enough folks die on me to know that no one is immortal also.

Well, except for me because I'm just a machine located in a deep underground cavern.

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