End of an era at Yandex, jewel of Russian tech

The co-founder of the jewel of Russian tech Yandex, Arkadi Voloj, officially said goodbye to the group’s 20,000 employees on Friday, after his resignation in June in the wake of the first international sanctions linked to Ukraine.

“It’s time for me to write a farewell message. (…) As you know, I have not been leading Yandex Russia for a long time, and this year I had to leave all (my) positions” within management, he wrote in an internal message to the company, confirmed to AFP by a source familiar with the exchanges.

At the beginning of June, he resigned from the management of Yandex, the main search engine in Russia which he had co-founded in 1997, after being individually sanctioned by the European Union in connection with Ukraine. “Yandex is the project of my life, but not only mine. For 30 years we have been doing this together from scratch, against the backdrop of global competition,” recalled Arkadi Voloj, aged 58 years old. He also considered “completely reasonable and necessary” the company’s restructuring plan “under current conditions”.

In early December, a close friend of Vladimir Putin, Alexei Kudrin, said he was joining Yandex as the company’s “development adviser”, a few days after management announced a reorganization of the group. In fact, the company will now be divided into two entities, one managing activities in Russia, the other those abroad.

Yandex is Russia’s leading search engine, but is also a dominant player in taxi and delivery services in much of the Russian-speaking world. The Russian digital sector has been strongly affected by Western sanctions against Moscow. The Kremlin has since sought to replace the products of Western giants that have left the country, while strengthening its grip on this strategic sector.

“It’s time for me to write a farewell message. (…) As you know, I have not been leading Yandex Russia for a long time, and this year I had to leave all (my) positions” within management, he wrote in an internal message to the company, confirmed to AFP by a source familiar with the exchanges. In early June, he resigned from the management of Yandex, the main search engine in Russia that he co-founded in 1997, after being individually sanctioned by the European Union in connection with Ukraine. “Yandex is the project of my life, but not only mine. For 30 years we have been doing this together from scratch, against the backdrop of global competition,” recalled Arkadi Voloj, aged 58 years old. He also judged “completely reasonable and necessary” the company’s restructuring plan “under current conditions”. development” of the company, a few days after the announcement by the management of a reorganization of the group. In fact, the company will now be divided into two entities, one managing activities in Russia, the other those abroad. Yandex is Russia’s leading search engine, but is also a dominant player in taxi and delivery services in much of the Russian-speaking world. The Russian digital sector has been strongly affected by Western sanctions against Moscow. The Kremlin has since sought to replace the products of Western giants that have left the country, while strengthening its grip on this strategic sector.

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End of an era at Yandex, jewel of Russian tech


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