Exetel founder John Linton has passed away from a stroke.
Linton suffered an "intensive stroke" according to his son, James Linton, while at lunch yesterday.
"There was nothing the doctors could do, without killing him in an operation or leaving him severely brain damaged," James Linton announced on an Exetel blog this morning.
"So last night, with most of my family present, his ventilator was turned off and a few hours later he passed away peacefully."
Linton established Exetel as a telecommunications consultancy in the 1990s and later became an internet service provider in 2003, competing with low-cost providers for consumer and business internet services.
James Linton said his father would "not want us fussing over him" and asked that any donations to the family be redirected toward the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The company would continue.
"He put in a place a strategic plan, so we need to move on as he had wanted us to, and remember him for the great man he was," James Linton said.
Industry luminaries mourned his passing in various notes passed around forums and newsletters.
NextDC managing director Bevan Slattery characterised John as a "tremendous asset to our industry".
"[He] provided much colour, excitement and leadership of change," he said.
"But of course John was a family man and our heart goes out to them and the team at Exetel."
Steve Waddington, chief engineer at Exetel, also shared his thoughts.
"We started Exetel with the objective of creating a 'perfect company'. We faced many challenges, some that would have undoubtedly overwhelmed anyone with less indomitable determination than John," he said in a blog entry.
"He was the toughest person I think I will ever meet. The most honest person I have ever met, and one of the kindest. But above all he was unique, with the clarity of vision and sharpness of mind that was simply awesome.
"He has been my manager, my mentor and my friend."