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Culture

Digital kids, telecom entrepreneur dies in plane crash

Jeanette Symons, founder of tween social network Imbee.com, went down in her own jet while flying home from a ski trip with her young son.

Jeanette Symons, a luminary among women in technology and co-founder of tween social network Imbee.com, died in a plane crash with her young son on Friday.

Symons, a practiced pilot, was en route to her home in Steamboat Springs, Colo., from a ski trip in Maine when the plane she was piloting crashed several minutes after takeoff, according to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle. Symons, 45, and her son Balan, 10, died in the crash. She is survived by her 7-year-old daughter, Jennie, and her mother, father, and two brothers.

Symons is known for her work in telecommunications. She founded telecom-Internet networking companies Zhone Technologies and Ascend Communications, which was sold to Lucent Technologies in 1999 for $24 billion. In recent years, Symons co-founded Industrious Kids, a privately held company in Emeryville, Calif., that promoted secure environments for kids online--an issue close to Symons' heart with two young children of her own. In 2005, the company introduced Imbee.com, one of the first private social networks for kids ages 8 to 14.

Symons regularly commuted from her home in Steamboat Springs to Emeryville in her own jet.