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Former tech CEO dies in Panama plane crash

Former president and CEO of what was once the world's largest group e-mail provider, dies in crash with daughter.

The former president and CEO of eGroups, once the world's largest group e-mail provider and now part of Yahoo, was killed Sunday in a small-plane crash in a remote jungle in Panama.

Michael Klein
Michael Klein Pacificor

Michael Klein, 37, of Santa Barbara, Calif., died in the crash of a Cessna 172 in the remote mountains about 270 miles west of Panama City, according to the Associated Press and other sources. Also killed in the crash were Klein's 13-year-old daughter, Talia, and Panamanian pilot Edwin Lasso, 23.

According to reports, the only survivor of the crash was Francesca Lewis, 12, a friend of Talia's who was delivered to safety by rescue workers who trekked for hours in heavy rains and winds to the slopes of the Baru volcano where the crashed occurred.

Valerie Lewis, Francesca's mother, told the AP the girl suffered a broken arm and hypothermia.

Michael Klein, who was the chief executive officer of hedge fund management firm Pacificor, was CEO of community Web site OneList when it merged with eGroups in 1999. Klein became CEO of eGroups later that year. Yahoo purchased eGroups in 2000 for $432 million.

Michael Klein was vacationing with the two girls at an eco-resort he owns in Panama, Kim Klein, his ex-wife and Talia's mother, told the AP. The cause of the crash is under investigation.