William Millichap, co-chair of Calabasas real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc., has died after a yearlong battle with cancer, the company announced Tuesday. He was 76. Millichap joined the company as an investment broker shortly after its founding in 1971, when it was still named G.M. Marcus Co. After becoming regional manager of the Palo Alto office in the 1970s, he went on to serve as president and a director from 1985 to 2000 and was co-chairman of the board until his passing. Also, Millichap was the managing partner of Marcus & Millichap Venture Partners, a separate entity that invests in real estate-related technology firms. Marcus & Millichap founder and Chairman George Marcus said in a statement the company’s success in its formative years was largely due to Millichap’s push for innovation, including the establishment of training programs and the adoption of technology. “Bill’s commitment to advance the firm resulted in the industry’s first centralized, electronic inventory system as early as 1978. He led countless evolutions of the company’s brokerage tools and client services, which helped achieve exceptional growth,” Marcus said. “Bill was the truest of friends that one could ever have and a real partner in good times and challenging ones. … All who knew him would point to his intelligence, endless energy, enthusiasm, discipline, loyalty and competitiveness as main ingredients that made him the life force that he was.” Outside of the brokerage, Millichap served on the board of directors of Essex Property Trust from 1994 to 2009 and LoopNet Inc. from 1999 to 2008. He was one of the founders of San Jose National Bank and the Mid-Peninsula Bank of Commerce, where he served on the board of directors. He also sat on the board of the National Multi Housing Council and was a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Urban Land Institute and the National Venture Capital Association. Millichap also served as an officer in the United States Navy. Marcus & Millichap Chief Executive Hessam Nadji said in a statement, “His positive influence will live on through all of us who were touched by him.” Millichap is survived by his wife Sherrie, children Laura, Greg, Jeff and Stacy and eight grandchildren.