One year later, words to remember our Dear Friend Olivier Sanche

In conversations with Olivier Sanche's wife, she had mentioned a simple request she had made to Apple to plant a tree in memory of Olivier. Her request was not answered, so I offered to contact eBay's VP of Technical Operations, Mazen Rawashdeh. Mazen supported the request and made the executive decision to plant a tree at the data center Olivier designed and built in Salt Lake City.

In addition to the tree eBay planted they created a plaque.


"The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The Wisdom of the Sands"

"This tree is dedicated to the memory of Olivier Sanche who passed away on November 26, 2010. Olivier was a colleague, peer, mentor, and friend to many in the eBay family. At his memorial he was remembered as someone who lit up a room whenever he entered in through his big personality and solid foundation. The tree symbolizes that seed of friendship, wisdom, and inspiration that he planted with so many. May it, like his memory, continue to grow."

The above plaque was set  in Aug 2011, and KC Mares even posts in Sept 2011 about the plaque, tree, and conference room named after Olivier.  I have been waiting for eBay to post something official, but I must have missed the notices and I can't find it on the web. When I contacted Olivier's wife to ask what she thought of the plaque, she said no one from eBay had contacted her regarding the memorial efforts.  So, I decided to move on my own and ask a few friends to contribute their words to remember Olivier by.


First, Mike Manos's (AOL) words.

Olivier was a man of quiet action.  Benjamin Franklin said “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.”  There is not a month that goes by where I am reminded of my conversations with Olivier.  His influence is still felt throughout our industry and his passion has left an indelible mark that has changed our industry for the better.  True leadership comes from passion and heart.  Olivier had plenty of both.  It’s a rare thing especially when you compare it to many of the ‘pretenders and self-promoters’ who have come after.  His influence was soft but strong, not in-your-face but analytical and probing.  He led you down a path so you understood his position and hopefully adopted it as your own.   Oliver remains a strong voice amongst us and his legacy will be felt for years to come.   On a personal note I continue to miss and mourn a good friend taken far too early.

Nic Bustamente (Microsoft).

Christian [Belady] and I were just talking about him recently, it doesn't seem like a year's gone by. We sat in stunned silence thinking about Olivier . . . . it's still shocking.

Joe Kava (Google)


it's hard to believe that more than a year has gone by since Olivier's passing.  I think the fact that many industry notables still speak so fondly of him is a tribute to what a great person he was.  Genuinely one of the "good guys" who really cared and poured his heart into what he was passionate about... his family, his work, the environment, etc.
I continue to miss him.






Olivier was a friend and mentor in so many ways.  We would argue to the point of people entering the room to see if we were ok, then we would head of to a night of dinner and drinks together.  I really miss his smile and his way of looking at things.  I would like to make sure that his memory is maintained in a manner appropriate to the life and passion he brought to our industry.


Vim Kumar (ex-AT&T reporting to Olivier)

Olivier was a natural born leader and never afraid to roll his sleeves up and "get dirty" with the folks on the floor.  Talk about motivation!  To see your director actually doing something about a problem instead of talking about it really gets you going to get the job done.

Charles Kalko (Skype, ex-eBay)

Olivier is best remembered for his passion to for the environment and his belief that we all can make a difference.