Colin Kroll, the co-founder of video platform Vine and the CEO of HQ Trivia, died yesterday at the age of 34. Kroll was found dead in his apartment in New York after a woman, believed to have been his girlfriend, alerted police.
She asked them to do a welfare check after being unable to get a hold of him and fearing something wasn’t right.
The medical examiner is currently determining Kroll’s official cause of death, but he is reported to be from an overdose of cocaine and heroin. Authorities reportedly found him in his Manhattan apartment with drug paraphernalia nearby.
Colin’s father, Alan Kroll, told the New York Times that his son did not have a drug problem, but would do drugs occasionally.
“He worked too many hours and too hard,” he told the publication. “I think New York City got to him a little bit.” He added: “All of that leads to getting too much drugs or bad drugs and overdosing.”
HQ was co-founded with Rus Yusupov, who also worked with Kroll on Vine. He shared his feelings on Twitter after learning of the news.
So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll. My thoughts & prayers go out to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart. He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother.
— Rus (@rus) December 16, 2018
Kroll had previously worked as an engineering manager for Yahoo from 2007 to 2009, and was the chief technology officer at Jetsetter from 2009 to 2013.
He was reportedly facing an HR complaint by an HQ Trivia employee at the time of his death, over his “aggressive management style”.
According to the New York Times report, allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior towards women — which surfaced while he was working for a brief time at Twitter — came up again this year when he was looking for investors for HQ Trivia
The business raised $15 million in venture capital funding, but several investors reportedly chose not to invest because of his previous workplace history. Kroll denied allegations of sexually harassing employees.
Last night’s HQ Trivia game was canceled to show respect for Kroll.
We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it's with deep sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
— HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) December 16, 2018
— HQ Trivia Fans (@hqtriviafans) December 17, 2018
The exact cause of death is expected to be released in a report by the medical examiner.