Venkat Panchapakesan, YouTube’s head of engineering. The Indian American executive was a much-loved and highly-respected engineer.

Venkat Panchapakesan, YouTube's head of engineering who enabled much of the free flowing content, lost a months-long battle to cancer earlier this month and passed away in Silicon Valley, where he was a much-loved and highly-respected engineer who had worked his way through Yahoo and Google, among other firms.

According to the Times of India, the Indian American executive was only 49, and leaves behind his wife Sandy, two children, and a host of friends and admirers. 

Venky, as he was popularly known, hailed from Coimbatore, where he received a BE in electronics from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology before coming to the U.S. in the 1990s to earn an M.S. in computer engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

By 2010, when he moved to Google as vice-president of engineering after a year as entrepreneur-in-residence at Greylock Partners, he had built a formidable reputation as a code wizard with several patents to his credit.

In June last year, shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer, Google named him engineering head for YouTube, reporting directly to CEO Susan Wojcicki. 

"Venkat was a deeply admired leader of our engineering team, and we are extremely saddened by his passing. He was loved by the people who worked with him and will be missed by everyone who knew him," Wojcicki said in a statement. 

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