Yandex NV (YNDX), Russia’s largest search engine, said co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Ilya Segalovich is in a coma on life support.
Segalovich is showing no signs of brain activity, spokesman Ochir Mandzhikov said by e-mail. Doctors in the London hospital where Segalovich lies have said that the decision to switch off life support is his family’s, Vedomosti reported, citing Yandex Chief Executive Officer Arkady Volozh.
Segalovich, 48, and Volozh co-founded their business, now valued at $10.6 billion in U.S. trading, more than 20 years ago. They created software enabling a context search through the Bible on compact discs and in 1997 set up the Yandex.ru Internet search engine, which now controls more than 60 percent of the Russian market, beating Google locally.
“Mr. Segalovich had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer and was responding well to treatment and working a full schedule,” the Russian company said in a statement at 10:55 a.m. in Moscow. He had visited Yandex office’s in Turkey a week ago to present a design with interactive “islands” that open order forms, purchase buttons and other information in the search window, according to the company’s website.
Segalovich, one of a group of owners who raised $607 million in a March stock sale, planned to spend his share of the proceeds on charity, he said in an April interview. Segalovich is known as a donor to Maria’s Children, a fund founded by his wife, Maria Yeliseyeva, that offers arts therapy and education to orphans.
After selling 0.2 million shares in the sale, he owned 2.5 percent of Yandex as of March 31, while Volozh held 10.5 percent.
For Related News and Information: Yandex Co-Founder to Spend Proceeds From Share Sale on Charity
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