UPDATE: Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh has clarified an announcement made by his company earlier today that Segalovich had died. According to him, he is actually in a coma:
“We want to clarify an earlier statement that the company put out. We have since learnt that Ilya is in coma and on life support although not showing any brain function. Our thoughts are with him at this time,” says Volozh.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine and one of the largest internet companies in the region, has just announced the death of Ilya Segalovich – the company’s co-founder. Segalovich had also served at CTO of the company since 2000.
“Ilya was a friend of life and this is a terrible personal loss. Ilya’s contributions to the founding and development of Yandex were invaluable. More importantly, his philanthropic contributions touched many children in need. My thoughts and those of all of the Yandex family are with Ilya’s family at this difficult time. We know that the strong technical team Ilya helped to build will carry on the work Ilya cared so passionately about. Ilya was an encyclopedia in technology and his highest ethical standards has always set the landmark for us all,” said CEO Arkady Volozh in a statement.
Segalovich had been diagnosed with cancer, but according to Yandex, it was treatable and he was responding well to treatment. That’s why his death from complications comes as such a shock.
Yandex holds nearly two-thirds of the search market share in Russia, and it one of the top search engines in the world (it passed Bing in terms of total monthly queries back in February). Yandex also offers a series of internet services, like free cloud storage and its own Android app store. It’s often called the “Google of Russia.”
The term “Yandex” was first invented in 1993 by Volozh and Segalovich to describe their search technologies, and it means “yet another index.” Yandex.ru was first launched in 1997, and was incorporated as a standalone company in 2000.