The Michael Goldberg obituary honors his compassion, dedication, and lasting effect. Michael Jay Goldberg, whose life affected many, is remembered for his kindness, family, and community service. Michael d!ed on June 20, 2023, leaving an inspiring legacy.
Michael Goldberg, Advertising’s Bright Light, D!es at 57: Compassion and Success End. The beloved advertising executive and mentor, recognized for his distinctive blend of competition and understanding, left a lasting influence on colleagues and clients. Honoring an amazing life.
Michael Goldberg’s Obituary Explained
Michael Goldberg, an expert in the advertising industry who worked for firms including Deutsch and Zimmerman, p@ssed away suddenly from complications stemming from his treatment for melanoma. He was 57.
Goldberg, most recently a principal at Rojek Consulting, was that unique breed of an advertising executive who could successfully combine a healthy respect for competitiveness with an understanding of the human element.
“He was a pragmatic business person, but he always saw the spirit and the big picture, which led us to what really mattered,” said Mark DiMassimo, founder and creative chief of DiMassimo Goldstein, a client of Rojek. “I called him our positive change angel.”
Goldberg started out in the advertising industry at Harris Drury Cohen in 1990 and left as CEO in 2003. In that same year, he began working for Zimmerman in the role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer, a position he held for almost nine years. After that, Goldberg spent some time at Porter Novelli before joining Deutsch in 2012 as a partner and chief marketing officer. Two years later, Zimmerman rehired him as CEO, and he stayed there for six years before leaving for Rojek.
Matt Powell, CEO of Moroch, another Rojek client, met Goldberg as competitors but ultimately became friends because both companies had McDonald’s and Planet Fitness as clients. “Michael was a really smart businessman who understood how to attack a problem, but also came from an emotional perspective,” Powell added.
Anush Prabhu, global chief creative strategy officer, creative futures, at EssenceMediacom, who worked with Goldberg at Deutsch, said, “You win by making clients believe they can achieve their goals and helping him get there; this was the belief that Michael lit every room he walked into.”
“He had an underlying belief in himself and every person’s ability to accomplish something. He understood that this business was as much about understanding people as it was about learning about consumers,” said Prabhu. “He was a rare person who people respected and loved at the same time—someone whose presence meant as much as his accomplishments.”
“He has been a coach and mentor to me in addition to being a loyal friend,” said Val DiFebo, Deutsch New York CEO. “He added tremendous value to our culture and our offering. He had a deep understanding of our DNA and shared the values we hold so dear.” DiFebo, who called him a new-business czar and “a gifted writer with a wonderful sense of humor,” recalled that Goldberg loved theater, particularly the musical “Rent.”
DiFebo said it best:
“If you knew Michael, you knew his family and you became his family.”
Powell remarked that Goldberg was ahead of his time since he believed in and lived purpose long before it became a popular business concept. According to Powell, “We were taught you never brought your personal life into work,” but that the world is changing and he is one of those people who did. “His two daughters and his wife were the light of his life.”
Carly Goldberg Black, one of Goldberg’s daughters, is an associate strategy director at Dentsu Creative. She followed in her father’s footsteps by entering the advertising industry. Goldberg posted on her Facebook page after learning of his passing, “I’ve looked up to you since the day I was born.” I swear I’ll always be looking upward.
More than 300 tributes from industry execs, many of whom were in attendance at Cannes, flooded in after that tweet was published.
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Goldberg is left by his wife of 26 years, Barbara Wagner Goldberg, as well as two children, Hannah Goldberg and Emily Goldberg Winer, the latter of whom is a rabbi and of whom he was quite proud. The identical twins’ names are Emily and Carly.
Goldberg Black claims her dying father gave his daughters valuable vocational guidance. According to her, his dying words were focused on commercialism. In his words, “He told me he really wanted me to pursue a career in new business.”
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