Chris Edgecomb, a 30-year telecommunications veteran who founded several companies and knew how to throw a good party, passed away Tuesday at the age of 52.
The chief executive officer of Sirius Telecom died prematurely, according to an obituary, which did not list the cause of his death.
Born on March 3, 1959, in Hollywood, Calif., Edgecomb attended California Polytechnic State University and began his career in the telecommunications industry 30 years ago. He co-founded WCT Telecom earlier in his career. In just five years, WCT Telecom went public and reportedly grew into the 12th largest U.S. long-distance carrier before it was sold to Frontier Communications in 1994, according to an online bio.
He went on to co-found Star Telecom, an international telecommunications provider that had a big IPO in 1997 and reportedly attained revenues of $1 billion within five years. Star Telecom eventually filed for bankruptcy and was liquidated, according to the Pacific Coast Business Times. Edgecomb also was involved in numerous real estate ventures and Star Power Generators, a generator rental company to the event and film industry in southern California.
Edgecomb has been serving as chief executive of Sirius Telecom, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based provider of hosted softswitch partitioning services.
“I’d prefer my tombstone say I was a motivator and collector of talented people,” Edgecomb once said, according to the obit that his company released. “It’s really about the team assembled; then, a coach or CEO can step in and guide the process, but without the team, I’ve never seen a coach score a touchdown against an opposing squad of linebackers.”
Edgecomb, a Santa Barbara resident, knew how to host a bash: In the summer of 1999, People Magazine reported on an extravagant, $7 million wedding that Edgecomb threw for his nuptials in a ceremony that was emceed by Jay Leno and included such superstars as Dana Carvey, Rod Stewart and David Crosby.
“I wanted it to be the party of all parties,” People quoted Edgecomb at the time.
But Edgecomb wasn’t just an entrepreneur who knew how to party: He was dedicated to numerous causes, according to his obit. He and his wife, Maryann, contributed to several organizations, including the Sheriff’s Department, Dream Foundation, Santa Barbara Fire Fighters Alliance, San Barbara Bowl, Cottage Hospital, House Ear Institute, The Maximum Hope Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, SPARKLE and others. Edgecomb also established the Dream Foundation’s Legacy of Dreams Endowment Fund and served on the Advisory Board and Honorary Board of Governors.
“From celebrities and dignitaries, to workers on the front lines, his friends far and wide were a close-knit collective, and he treated and gave to each one the same,” his obit states. “He was a man of his word, enormously steadfast and dependable, yet sensitive and profoundly compassionate to the needs of others.”
Edgecomb is survived by his wife, Maryann; daughter, Sydney; mother, Sannie; and sisters Laurel Edgecomb and TC Edgecomb. His funeral will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 10 a.m., followed by a burial service at Santa Barbara Cemetery.