Ilya Segalovich Dead At 48: What Will Happen To Yandex Now?

Addam Corré - Author

Jul. 29 2013, Updated 8:34 a.m. ET

Ilya Segalovich has died in a London hospital at the age of 48.

He was co-founder of the Russian search engine, Yandex. Arkady Volozh, who co-founded the company with him, announced on the Yandex blog that that Segalovich had been diagnosed with stomach cancer last year.

Initially, he had responded well to the chemotherapy, but the cancer metastasized to his brain and this is what caused his death. There was some confusion about the exact time he died since he was on life support. However, once the doctors confirmed that he was brain dead, the life support was switched off. Volozh said,”The only hope we had was a diagnosis error….we couldn’t make a miracle. We only could offer a chance for it to happen.”

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His body will be returned to Russia on Wednesday; no plans for the funeral have yet been announced.

The Yandex company was created in 1997 by the two partners. It has been a huge success and currently has a share of 62 percent of the Russian market. Google, in comparison, has only 26 percent.

Ilya Segalovich was the inventor of the company name; it is an acronym for “Yet Another Index.” He was the chief technological officer of the company and his partner acted as director general.Although Segalovich’s shareholding was relatively small – 2.5 percent of the shares, worth $250 milion – his voting power within the board of directors was almost three times that at almost 7 percent.

But one cannot put a financial value on the relationship between a company and its founder. Ilya Segalovich may not have been another Steve Jobs, so one can only speculate what the effect of his death will be on Yandex. Hopefully it will not follow the pattern of Apple.

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