Sudden death of Yandex co-founder shakes RuNet

Jul 29, 2013
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Ilya Segalovich, co-founder and chief technological officer of the Russian search engine Yandex, passed away 27 July, in a London hospital due to cancer-related causes.

Segalovich, 48, was first diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012 but had improved with chemotherapy until another tumor was found in his brain last week. By Thursday, he had slipped into a coma on and was pronounced brain dead. Segalovich was removed from life support two days later, Radio Free Europe writes.

Segalovich and partner Arkady Volozh founded Yandex in 1997. Yandex, known as the “Russian Google,” now ranks as the fourth most used search engine worldwide. In Russia, Yandex accounts for 62 percent of all online searches, almost three times more than Google’s approximate 26 percent, CNET reports.

Segalovich also co-founded Maria’s Children Art Rehabilitation Center, a place for orphans and special needs children, as well as the National Corpus of Russian Language (Ruscorpora) and the Russian Information Retrieval Evaluation Seminar (ROMIP), according to his Forbes profile.


Image courtesy of Wikimedia.


His death triggered responses and condolences across the Internet. Alexei Navalny, recently convicted opposition blogger and Moscow mayoral candidate, dedicated a blog post to Segalovich.

“We’ll remember Ilya as a paragon of virtue,” Navalny wrote. “He was an “ideal capitalist” – he used his brain and worked hard to earn his money.”

Twitter users took to the platform to spread the news of the Yandex founder’s passing.

“Ilya Segalovich, founder of # yandex RIP eternal memory!” tweeted user @killemille [ru]. Twitter user @BisnesNovosti referred to Yandex as a “a man of the future” [ru].

A Yandex tribute page to Segalovich describes him as a “Friend, colleague, teacher, and hilarious clown.”


About the Author

Molly Jane Zuckerman

Molly Zuckerman is an editorial intern at Transitions Online. She attends Wesleyan University and plans to jointly major in Russian Studies and Comparative Politics.
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