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MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Ilya Segalovich, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Russian search engine Yandex, is on life support but is not showing any brain function after unexpectedly suffering complications from cancer treatment, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.
Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh, speaking on a conference call with reporters, said Segalovich, 48, is in a coma and on life support after unexpectedly suffering complications from cancer treatment on early Thursday morning. The company initially released a statement to announce the death of Segalovich, but Volozh later said the company had been given inaccurate information.
"Ilya was a lifelong friend and this is a terrible loss for me personally and for all of us at Yandex," Volozh said in Thursday's statement that mistakenly announced the death of Segalovich. "Ilya's contributions to the founding and development of Yandex were invaluable. Beyond his role at the company, his philanthropic contributions touched many children in need."
Volozh added: "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 had an encyclopedic knowledge of technology, and his highest ethical standards have always set the benchmark for us all."
Segalovich co-founded Yandex, which is the largest search engine in Russia, more than 20 years ago, serving as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and as executive director since 2000. He also co-founded and supported Maria's Children Art Rehabilitation Center for orphans and children with special needs.
According to Alexa.com, Yandex.ru reaches an estimated 2.9 percent of global internet users, most of them in Russia where it is more popular than Google. Bing reaches about 4.5 percent of global internet users while Google reaches 40.6 percent, down from 47.7 percent in early 2012.