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30 Dec, 2022 16:18

Co-founder of Russia's largest IT company says goodbye

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh left the company after being sanctioned
Co-founder of Russia's largest IT company says goodbye

Arkady Volozh, the co-creator of Russian internet giant Yandex, has penned a farewell letter to staff on Friday as he steps down from his role as CEO of the company and leaves the board of directors after being placed on the EU’s sanctions list.

“As you know, I haven’t managed Yandex’s Russian business for some time, and this year I had to completely step down from all positions in the company,” Volozh wrote in an internal Yandex blog post seen by TASS.

“In the hustle and bustle of recent months, I never said goodbye to you. New Year’s is a good opportunity to fix this,” he said, adding that Yandex was the project of a lifetime. “And not only mine. All these 30 years we have been building it together, from scratch, in the face of global competition, striving to behave openly and honestly,” he wrote, thanking everyone involved for helping create “the best technology company” in Russia.

A Yandex representative told RIA Novosti that Volozh would not be involved with the company in any way, even indirectly, after his exit. In November, the company revealed that Alexey Kudrin, Russia’s former finance minister and presidential adviser, will join the company’s top management team.

Yandex is considered to be the largest IT company in Russia and primarily serves audiences in Russia and other former Soviet states. The company provides internet-related products and services, including a search engine, maps, taxis, food deliveries, mobile apps, e-commerce, media streaming and other information services.

In his farewell post, Volozh expressed support for the upcoming corporate restructuring of the company, stating that to him it seems “reasonable and necessary.” 

According to Reuters, Yandex’s Dutch-registered holding company is considering divesting ownership and control of most of the Yandex Group and splitting off the main revenue-generating parts of its business into a sepаrate group of Russian firms that will retain the Yandex brand. 

The company’s international divisions, focused on self-driving technologies, cloud computing, data labeling and edtech, will supposedly change its name and continue development independently from Russia. Volozh has expressed hope that he would be able to advise the four international start-ups in the future.