Forrest Hayes Reportedly Worked at Google X Before His Tragic Death

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Mar. 4 2021, Updated 2:39 p.m. ET

With his work at Sun Microsystems, Apple, and Google, Forrest Hayes had not just a successful career but a plush life—with a net worth that apparently afforded a multimillion-dollar house.

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But his life was cut short in 2013 when he overdosed on his yacht in Santa Monica, Calif., after receiving a heroin injection from a woman he had hired for company, according to authorities.

Who was Forrest Hayes?

Hayes was a Google executive who joined the company after stints at Ford Motor Company, Sun Microsystems, and Apple, according to what investigative journalist Michael Daly told CBS News in 2015. 48 Hours covered the story of his life and death.

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Daly also gave insight into Hayes’s secretive position at Google: “He was hired ... to work in Google X, which they call their ‘moonshot factory,’” Daly said, referring to the Alphabet subsidiary known just simply as X. “As in, you know, the most extreme, wildest, imaginative, farthest reaching ideas they could have. You know, like Google glasses, self-driving cars. He was the guy who was actually gonna make some of these things happen.”

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According to an online obituary, Hayes had been married to his wife for 17 years at the time of his death, and he had five children. “More than anything else he enjoyed spending time with his family at home and on his boat,” the obit added. “His brilliant mind, contagious smile, and warm embrace will be missed and cherished in memories by his friends and family.”

How did Forrest Hayes die?

Hayes died on his yacht in Santa Cruz, Calif., in November 2013 after allegedly receiving a fatal heroin injection from a woman named Alix Tichelman, whom authorities said was a sex worker, reported The Associated Press. Tichelman pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs, and in 2015, she was sentenced to five years in prison. In 2017, she was deported to Canada.

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In 2018, Tichelman told KSBW-TV that she didn’t know Hayes had taken Valium or consumed alcohol that day. “He seemed perfectly sober to me. If I had known both of those pieces of information, I would have never let him take the drugs,” she said. “He was very adamant about doing the drugs. Despite what police say, we never had sex. He was more interested in partying.”

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She also addressed her failure to call 911 after Hayes lost consciousness, saying, “That’s something I regret every single day, that I didn’t call for help.”

What was Forrest Hayes’s net worth?

Details about Hayes’s net worth aren’t readily accessible, but Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter told CBS News that the executive had a $3 million house in Santa Cruz. “He lived in a pretty upper crust neighborhood,” Baxter added. “ He was a pretty high powered guy and...obviously had a lot of assets.”

As for Hayes’s yacht, the 46-foot Escape—decked out in about $200,000 worth of gear and an $8,000 captain’s chair—was “one of the larger boats in the harbor,” according to Baxter. 

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