Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, who was appointed only six months ago to oversee the board that sets international accounting standards, died of a heart attack on Saturday night.

The 70-year-old Italian economist was considered to be one of the architects of the euro and was a member of the European Central Bank’s first executive board as well as Italy’s former economic minister. In June, he was appointed as chairman of the board of trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, which recently changed its name to the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (see IASC Foundation Picks New Chairman). The foundation oversees the International Accounting Standards Board, which is in the process of converging IFRS with U.S. GAAP in conjunction with the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Padoa-Schioppa’s sudden passing “stunned Italy’s political and economic elite,” according to the Associated Press. He reportedly died while eating dinner with a group of friends in Rome.

IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie lamented Padoa-Schioppa’s passing, as did several other members of the IASB and the Monitoring Board of government regulators, which also oversees the IASB. “Tommaso possessed a rare combination of intellect and vision, delivered with a wry smile,” Tweedie said in a statement. “He was a friend and colleague and will be missed by many, many people. I am greatly saddened by this news. On behalf of the IASB and the staff of the Foundation, we send our sincere condolences to his family.”

“On behalf of all members of the Monitoring Board, I would like to communicate our deepest condolences on the most saddening news of the passing away of Tommaso,” said Masamichi Kono, acting chairman of the Monitoring Board of the IFRS Foundation. “We have all benefitted enormously from his wisdom and candor, and were looking forward to working with him in the near future on various reforms. It is a tremendous loss for all of us.”

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