Nvidia boss tells Israeli staff Mellanox founder's daughter was killed in festival massacre

And engineer and girlfriend among those held hostage by Hamas

Mellanox founder Eyal Waldman's daughter Danielle and her boyfriend Noam Shai were among those killed by Hamas militants while attending the Supernova music festival on the Israel-Gaza border Saturday, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said in a letter to staff.

Huang also revealed in the memo to his Israeli employees that Avinatan Or, an engineer on Nvidia's VLSI team, and his girlfriend were among many taken hostage by Hamas, and that Jad and Nabih Amer, brothers working at Nvidia, had lost their brother Jawad Akram, an IDF soldier, in the line of duty amid this week's Israel-Hamas conflict.

Nvidia, like many tech companies, has a sizable presence in Israel owing in no small part to the GPU giant's acquisition of Israeli networking vendor Mellanox. In 2020, Waldman quit as CEO of the biz he founded following its acquisition by Nvidia.

According to Huang, Nvidia counts approximately 3,300 employees in Israel, hundreds of which have now been called up for military service.

"The world follows the news out of Israel with horror. The scale and brutality of the attacks and the suffering they inflict are difficult to fathom. For our families in Israel, the news is a living nightmare," Huang wrote in his memo, obtained by CTech Friday. Nvidia confirmed to us the email is legit.

The letter comes less than a week after Hamas launched a surprise attack, firing rockets into Israeli towns and villages along the Gaza border Saturday, while militants broke border fences and gunned down civilians and soldiers as they went, according to the Associated Press. Among the locations targeted was the Supernova music festival being held near Kibbutz Re'im, where reports put the death toll at 260 killed.

In the days since, Israel has declared war on Hamas and launched airstrikes into Gaza. So far, around 1,300 Israelis have since been killed, with a similar number of Palestinians reported dead since retaliation began.

In his letter, Huang thanked employees who had opened their homes to families who had lost their own or had been forced to evacuate, and pledged to provide whatever support they may need. He added Nvidia was implementing a "global campaign" to contribute to humanitarian efforts.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of your family. Nvidians worldwide will rise to cover for our colleagues in Israel and pick up and offload whatever work you need. We are here for you," Huang said in closing.

Nvidia had been scheduled to hold an AI summit in Tel Aviv October 15 to 16, but canceled the event in the wake of the bloodshed. ®

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