UPDATE (6.40am PT, 25 July): Contrary to a statement Yandex issued this morning (European time) saying Ilya Segalovich had passed away, the company has now said that he is alive but comatose: “Ilya’s family told us last night that he had passed away. This morning we found out that he was on life support with no signs of brain activity. We are expecting further information.”
UPDATE 2 (3.15am PT, 29 July): Ilya Segalovich died on 27 July, Yandex has now confirmed. It said in a statement on Sunday 28 July:
“On July 25, 2013, Yandex issued a press release announcing that Mr. Segalovich had passed away. On an analysts’ call later that day, the company announced that further reports from the attending doctors had clarified that at that time Mr. Segalovich remained on life support and in critical condition. Mr. Segalovich ultimately succumbed to his illness on July 27.”
The original story follows.
Yandex co-founder and chief technology officer Ilya Segalovich has died, the Russian web giant has announced. He had been fighting a treatable form of cancer, seemingly with success, until he unexpectedly passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 48.
Segalovich presided over impressive work, with Yandex’s search technology even finding applications in CERN’s nuclear physics work. He was a leading figure in the Russian technology scene with a long history in information retrieval systems, and he also co-founded a center for orphans and children with special needs.
Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh said in a statement:
“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.”