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Yandex Co-Founder Ilya Segalovich in Coma

Software engineer and entrepeneur Segalovich displaying his usual exuberence during a product launch in May. Guennadi Moukine

Ilya Segalovich, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Internet group Yandex, is in a coma, suffering with complications from cancer, the company's chief executive said Thursday.

The company earlier announced the death of Segalovich, aged 48, who had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer.

"We want to clarify an earlier statement that the company put out. We have since learnt that Ilya is in a coma and on life support although not showing any brain function. Our thoughts are with him at this time," Arkady Volozh said on a conference call.

Segalovich had been responding well to treatment while working a full schedule, before unexpectedly having complications, Yandex said in the original statement.

"I know that the strong technical team that Ilya helped to build, train and motivate will continue with pride the work Ilya began," Volozh told analysts and investors on the call.

Segalovich, an entrepreneur, software engineer and philanthropist, was born in 1964. In 2000 he became one of the founders of the country’s biggest Internet company Yandex, which operates the largest search engine on the Russian market and is ranked fourth worldwide. Yandex currently processes almost two-thirds of domestic search requests and has a market share of more than 60 percent in Russia's search engine market by traffic.

Material from the Moscow Times was included in this report. 

Due to conflicting media reports, an earlier version of this story carried on The Moscow Times website incorrectly stated that Ilya Segalovich had died. 

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