Executive Insights

CEO of Yandex, known as 'Russia's Google,' resigns following new EU sanctions, months of boardroom chaos

Business Insider US
Yandex's CEO Arkady Volozh (left) speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) in 2017.
  • Arkady Volozh, CEO and co-founder of Russian tech giant Yandex, stepped down on Friday.
  • His resignation came after the EU imposed sanctions on him.
  • Volozh is the fourth member of Yandex's board to step down so far this year.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Arkady Volozh, cofounder of Russian tech giant Yandex, has resigned as CEO and executive director of the company after the EU sanctioned him personally.

The company announced Volozh's resignation in a press release published Friday. This makes Volozh the fourth member of Yandex's board to step down in as many months.

Yandex is Russia's largest tech company and has often been described as "Russia's Google." Wired reported in March the company's search engine commanded a 60% share of the Russian search market.

The EU imposed sanctions on Volozh on Friday as part of its sixth round of sanctions against Russia.

The EU said in its sanctions list Volozh was "supporting, materially or financially, the Government of the Russian Federation" as CEO of Yandex, which it described as "the largest internet company in Russia."

"Yandex is also responsible for promoting State media and narratives in its search results, and deranking and removing content critical of the Kremlin, such as content related to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine," the sanctions list said. 

Volozh called the decision to impose sanctions against him "misguided and ultimately counterproductive" in a statement given in Yandex's press release announcing his resignation.

Yandex's board "continues to function as normal," the company said in its press statement.

Yandex and Arkady Volozh did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

Volozh isn't the only Yandex executive to be hit with sanctions. Yandex's deputy CEO Tigran Khudaverdyan resigned in March after the EU sanctioned him over ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Two American board members of Yandex, tech investor Esther Dyson and Stanford University professor Ilya Strebulaev, also resigned in March.

People close to Dyson and Strebulaev told Insider's Becky Peterson that both board members were under increasing pressure from their professional networks to distance themselves from the company.



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