Co-founder of Yandex, the world's fourth largest search engine, dies of cancer

The co-founder of Russia's largest search engine, Yandex, has died suddenly after a battle with cancer.

Ilya Segalovich, 48, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012 and was admitted to hospital last Wednesday. His condition deteriorated as he entered a coma on Thursday, according to a statement from the company, and he passed away in a London hospital on Saturday.

The web entrepreneur had been responding well to chemotherapy for the stomach cancer but the condition had spread to his brain, which ultimately led to his death.

Yandex director general and co-founder Arkady Volozh commented, "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."

When Segalovich entered hospital on Thursday, Yandex had already reported his death but later corrected the report by stating he was on life support with no brain function.

Segalovich formed the site with school friend Volozh in 1997 and it became the planet's fourth-largest search engine as it passed Bing earlier this year.

A tribute page has been set up for the late Segalovich where testimonials from his colleagues, friends and even government ministers can be read. He leaves five children and is described on the page as a "friend, colleague, teacher and hilarious clown."

Co-founder Volozh stated that his body would be flown back to Russia on Wednesday with no date or plans yet announced for the funeral.

As well as being the site's founder he worked as the company's chief technology officer until he was diagnosed with cancer. He helped the company take 62 per cent of the Russian search engine market, which dwarfs Google's 25.6 per cent share.

Segalovich is also credited with coming up with the name of the search engine, which was made by shortening the phrase 'Yet Another Index.'

Image credit: Flickr (Esthr)