Ex-shopping mall CEO plunges to death in Costa Rica

A former New York shopping mall executive in Costa Rica to celebrate his 65th birthday this weekend plunged to his death after falling from a platform high in the trees where he was eating dinner.

John Anderson, the ex-CEO of Wilmorite, was staying at the popular Pacuare eco-lodge, where guests can zip line onto a platform 60 feet in the air to eat dinner and then be lowered to the ground, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

“He was just getting back to the ground from the tree,” James Ryan Jr., Anderson’s business partner with Ryco Management, LLC and Northern Holdings, LLC, told the Democrat and Chronicle. “There’s a safety system, but for whatever reason it didn’t work.”

Costa Rican authorities are investigating the incident.

“John was really well respected,” Ryan said. “In many ways, he was private and not a person that everybody knew in that sense as a business leader. But he was an incredibly reliable partner and trustworthy.”

Anderson, who managed the financing and development of retail, office and residential properties, also was an adjunct professor who taught a business class at the University of Rochester. He leaves behind four children.