The CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, passed away today due to medical issues. The brief details can be learned from Nintendo's statement. Iwata had previously undergone surgery before which caused him to take a short hiatus from his work.
Iwata began working at Nintendo in the 1980s as a programmer, working at the HAL Laboratory. Much of the success of Kirby can be attributed to Iwata, who created the eponymous Dream Land in Kirby's debut on the Game Boy in 1992. He became a director of the company in 2000, and was appointed President of Nintendo in May 2002. Iwata oversaw the launch of the GameCube, the Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U. - IGN
You can read more about his career here. The last time fans saw Iwata was during Nintendo's E3 Direct video where he voiced by a muppet recreation of himself created by Jim Henson Studios.