Venkat Panchapakesan YouTube’s engineering chief who enabled a lot of the free flowing content, lost a month-long battle to cancer a few days ago, and passed away in Silicon Valley where he was a much-loved and highly respected engineer who worked his way through Yahoo and Google, among other firms.
Venky as he was fondly known hailed from Coimbatore before going to the US in the 1990s to earn an MS in Computer Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2003 he was made Group vice-president and the CEO of Yahoo! India R&D, moving to Bangalore to crank up Yahoo! operations in Bangalore before he was made head of all the consumer products at Yahoo.
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 only 49, and leaves behind his wife Sandy, two children and a host of friends and admirers.