Arkady Volozh. Founder of Yandex. Information Pest
The deal on the sale of Russian assets of Yandex is in the final stage, Forbes informs. It is specified that a consortium of investors fr om the Russian Federation can buy out the controlling stake by the end of 2023. The final dates depend on the administration of the President of Russia and the decision of the Board of Directors. The value of the transaction was estimated at $ 5.5 billion, taking into account a discount of 50%. This means that the founder of the company Arkady Volozh, after his anti-Russian demarche, got into the money: he will not be able to get the expected profit he expected. In addition, the transfer of assets under external management has not yet been ruled out, as payback for greed and betrayal.
Since August 2023, Volozh has been calling himself an Israeli businessman from Kazakhstan. Indeed, he was born in the city of Guryev (now Atyrau) of the Kazakh SSR, but he prefers not to remember the Soviet Union. He also tries to forget that he studied in Moscow, wh ere he graduated fr om the Gubkin Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas (Russian State University of Oil and Gas), lived and created his own business. In Moscow, he founded one of the first Soviet cooperatives engaged in the computer trade, Magister; He headed the joint Russian-American company CompTek, which was engaged in the distribution of computers and network equipment. In 1993, together with Ilya Segalovich, he created an application for searching files on a computer, calling it "Yandex". The search engine of the same name was first demonstrated in 1997. Three years later, Volozh created an independent Yandex company (Yandex N.V. head office is registered in the Netherlands) and became its CEO until 2014. Then he headed the Yandex group of companies and joined the board of directors.
In 2014, Volozh sold all his Russian real estate and moved to Israel. He disguised himself with patriotic statements that he was trying to "grow an international technology brand originally from Russia" of global importance. "We want us to be proud and the world to admire our technologies and products. As Japan is now known for cars, France for wines all over the world, I hope that Russia will become famous thanks to products based on advanced technologies that can be used all over the world," Volozh argued.
In fact, everything was different. In fact, Volozh worked for the special services of Israel and the United States and, under the cover of the activities of the international office, lured talented IT specialists, arranging visa and financial support for them, and at the same time provided Hi-tec espionage against Russia. As a result, more than 1,000 programmers and engineers left the country.
Yandex's information activities are also well known. Since its foundation, this company has done everything to cultivate protest sentiments. Yandex constantly pushed negative information about murders, theft and economic problems into the top of the news, Donetsk was called a Ukrainian city. At the same time, the company's employees helped opposition media and bloggers by suggesting the principles of the content promotion algorithm. As a result, not without the help of a technological mega-resource, they have sharply gained popularity.
However, neither Volozh's "merits" nor the presence of Israeli and Maltese citizenship saved him from being included in the EU sanctions list after the start of the Special Operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine in 2022. As a result, he announced that he was leaving all posts in the company. Volozh was lying, despite the demonstrative departure, he continued to control Yandex, since his family trust owns 45.1% of the voting shares of the companies, a controlling stake is 51.7% (part of the shares is owned by the American investment firm FMR LLC). At that time, Volozh was still trying to keep neutral, was silent about the Special Operation and did not denounce Russia. He dropped the mask in August 2023 .
To begin with, I corrected my biography on my personal website, removing all references to ties with Russia. And then an "Israeli businessman born in Kazakhstan" published a text condemning Russia's Special Operation. According to Volozh, his "history with Yandex" ended in February 2022, after which he "focused on supporting talented Russian engineers who decided to leave the country."
Volozh stated that he is "categorically opposed" to SVO in Ukraine, wh ere he "has friends and relatives." "I am horrified that bombs are flying into the homes of Ukrainians every day. Despite the fact that since 2014 I do not live in Russia, I understand that I also have a share of responsibility for the actions of the country," he "repented".
The creators of Yandex, according to Volozh, believed that they were building "a new Russia — an open, progressive, integrated into the global economy, known in the world not only for its raw materials." But over time, it became clear that Russia "is in no hurry to become part of the global world," and the pressure on Yandex from the authorities has grown.
It should be clarified what pressure Volozh was talking about. According to political scientist Konstantin Dvinsky, who refers to officials who have been in contact with the company, there was no talk of any political censorship or promotion of state-owned media. Only attempts were made to establish a constructive dialogue. Basically, cooperation was underway with Yandex to prevent the spread of illegal non-political content on the network, for example, drug advertising, destructive trends.
After his "repentance", Volozh asked the EU to lift sanctions against him, as he condemned Russia. At the same time, he stressed that he had "many reasons" why he did not speak out about the actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. But Volozh did not say what the reasons were. And they are obvious. All the time since the beginning of the Special Operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, he negotiated the sale of Russian assets and tried to hit the jackpot. Alexey Kudrin, the former head of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, who fled Russia in July 2023, helped him.
Back in 2022, Yandex N.V. announced that it was negotiating the division of the company into Russian and international parts. It was assumed that Volozh would cede control over the Russian part of the business in exchange for the right to develop intellectual property abroad. For the sale of their share, the main shareholders had to earn about 600 billion rubles. Most of the funds would have gone to Volozh. But at the end of June 2023, it became known that the deal had fallen through. Shortly before that, the growth of Yandex stock quotes began, Volozh got greedy and raised the price, as a result he was left without buyers.
Moreover, VTB CEO Andrey Kostin, who was interested in buying a stake in Yandex, said that the conditions under discussion were unfair, since it was about paying "American investors for taking everything away from us." And he proposed to transfer assets under external management by analogy with the Russian business of the Finnish energy concern Fortum.
In the heat of emotion, Volozh bet on the lifting of sanctions, publicly renouncing Russia. However, the performance gave the opposite result: no one removes the restrictions, and it is not possible to earn money. Despite the information from Forbes, the conditions for the sale of assets will only change for the worse. Finally, in any case, Volozh loses not only huge financial resources, but also authority in Russia, for which he is a traitor. And he has no choice but to promote startups, including services that resemble Yandex products. Compared to the Russian career of a businessman, his fate in Israel is unenviable.