Ali Ülker was born in 1969 and educated in the Business Administration Department of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He has also attended various programs at IMD and Harvard. He worked in the Internal Kaizen Projects at De Boccard & Yorke Consultancy (1992) and on IESC Sales System Development and Internal Organization Projects (1997).
Mr Ülker joined the group in 1985 as an intern in the Quality Control Department of Ülker Gıda. From 1986 to 1998 he worked at chocolate production facilities and at Atlas Gıda Pazarlama in positions including Sales Manager, Sales Coordinator, Product Group Coordinator, and Product Group Director. In 1998 Mr Ülker became General Director of Atlas Gıda Pazarlama, and in 2001 became the General Director of Merkez Gıda Pazarlama.
In 2002, he rose to Vice Chairman of the Food Group and in 2005 Chairman of the Group. After worked as Vice Chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors for nine years, as of January 29, 2020 Ali Ülker became the Chair of Yıldız Holding.
Ali Ülker is married with three children. He enjoys fishing, cinema and literature, as well as playing basketball and billiards.
Vice Chair - CEO
Born in 1958, he received his master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has attended several training courses in many different areas throughout his professional career. In 1987, he took a training course in Business Management for 6 months in Italy on an IRI Scholarship. He has attended a training course in Strategic Marketing at Harvard BusinesFs School and IMD Switzerland. Also, he completed the Insead program in Singapore.
Between 1983 and 1987 he worked at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and from 1987 to 1996, he held various positions in Best Rothmans Entegre Sigara ve Tütün Sanayi A.Ş, such as General Manager.
In 1996, Mehmet Tütüncü joined Ülker Gıda A.Ş. and served as a business coordinator until 1998. Following, he worked as General Manager and Vice President of the Ülker Group. In May 2005, he was appointed as Yıldız Holding A.Ş.’s Food Group President. In 2011 he was appointed as the Food-Ülker Group President and in 2014, he had additional responsibility as International Food-Ülker Group President.
In 2016, he was appointed as pladis Region CEO, Turkey, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. He continues to serve as Deputy to the pladis CEO (responsible for TR, ME, NA, CA, SA, LATAM) and Executive Corporate Officer (Information Systems & Business Transformation) with additional responsibilities he took in 2017. In 2018, he was appointed as Vice Chairman and CEO of Yıldız Holding. Additionally, he serves as a Board Member and Chairman of the Board at several companies. He is also the Board Member of FoodDrinkEurope & President of the Liaison Committee of FoodDrinkEurope.
Member of the Board of Directors
Murat Ülker was born in 1959. He graduated from the Management Department of the School of Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.
Mr Ülker studied sector-specific subjects at international schools such as the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS), serving an internship at American company Continental Baking. In three years, he visited nearly 60 biscuit, chocolate and food factories in the United States and Europe. He also worked on various projects for the International Executive Service Corps (IESC).
Mr Ülker joined Yıldız Holding in 1984 as a Control Coordinator. Over the following years he assumed the roles of Assistant General Manager, and then General Director. As a member of the Executive Committee and a Board Member of various companies in the group, he led a series of cornerstone investments.
In 2000 Mr Ülker became Chairman of the Executive Committee, serving as Chairman for eight years. In 2008 he became Chairman of the Board of Directors. As of January 29, 2020, Ülker continues to take an active role in companies affiliated to the holding as a Member of the Board.
Mr Ülker is known for his interest in modern art and Islamic calligraphy. He enjoys sailing and travelling with his wife and three children.
Global Head of Legal Affairs – Member of the Board of Directors
Born in 1963, İbrahim Taşkın had his elementary school education in Trabzon and Artvin, completed high school in İstanbul, then graduated from İstanbul University Faculty of Law in 1986.
Called to the İstanbul Bar, Mr. Taşkın started his career in 1989 as a self-employed lawyer and completed his 30th year in the profession as of 2019. Also giving academic lectures since 1990, he taught Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Law of Criminal Procedure, Disciplinary Law, and Police Force Legislation at Florya Police Training Center of the Turkish National Police. In addition to professional experience, he assumed senior-level responsibilities in politics between 1996-2004.
Attaching importance to the NGOs as well as his legal and academic career, İbrahim Taşkın took part in a number of NGOs either as a founder or manager. The foundations and associations he contributed as a founder include “Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation”, “Consumer and Environment Education Foundation”, “Foundation for the Expansion of Knowledge”, and “Ülker Members Association”.
Acting as a Board Member in many Group companies in addition to Yıldız Holding Board Membership, İbrahim Taşkın is also a Council Member at İstanbul Chamber of Industry, a delegate at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, and a member of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association.
Having joined Yıldız Holding in 2004, İbrahim Taşkın assumed the responsibilities of Legal Advisor and then General Manager of Legal Affairs before his appointment as Global Head of Legal Affairs in 2016. Mr. Taşkın is also the chairman of the Group’s global Ethics and Integrity Board, Food Safety Board, Regulations and Corporate Transactions. İbrahim Taşkın is also responsible for coordinating the Holding’s relations with public institutions, NGOs, and universities. Mr. Taşkın has a good command of English. He is married with 4 children.
Global Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management – Member of the Board of Directors
Gökhan İzmirli graduated from Bilkent University Department of Management and got his MBA degree at Sabancı University Department of Business Administration.
Having started his career as an Auditor at KPMG in 1998, Mr. İzmirli then worked as a Financial Coordination Manager at Akbank between 2003 and 2007. After joining Anadolu Endüstri Holding in 2007 as the Holding’s Internal Audit Manager, he assumed the responsibility of managing the Internal Audits of International Operations of Efes Group in Moscow in 2011-2012. Appointed as Coca-Cola İçecek Internal Audit Director of 10 countries in the region covering Turkey, Central Asia and Middle East in 2013, he also acted as an Executive Board Member.
Having joined Yıldız Holding in 2018, Gökhan İzmirli is currently the Holding’s Global Director of Internal Audit and Risk Management, as well as a Board Member. He is married with a child.
Member of the Board of Directors & Transformation and Technology Leader
Yahya Ülker graduated from Koç University Department of Management in 2016 and assumed various responsibilities at London-based Kantar Agency, Switzerland-based biscuit producer Kambly SA, and Credit Suisse banking institution.
Having started his career at Yıldız Holding in 2018 at the Holding’s innovation company Northstar, Yahya Ülker acted in cooperation with universities and the industry and played active role in implementing innovation projects that the Holding considers as an investment in the future.
Following his appointment as Yıldız Holding Board Member, he took part in devising the Holding’s digital strategy. In 2019, he founded Yıldız Ventures and currently leads the teams working on incubating internal initiatives in industries that add value to the Holding’s strategy and on supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Founder of Yıldız Ventures and Yıldız Holding Board Member & Transformation and Technology Leader Yahya Ülker is married with a child.
Member of the Board of Directors
Salman was appointed Chief Executive Officer in February 2019 and Yıldız Holding Board Member in July 2023.
Prior to his current role, Salman worked for SC Johnson for four years where he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Global Commercial Division with overall leadership responsibility for the commercial organization, and before that as Chief Operating Officer of North American Markets.
In the 17 years before joining SC Johnson, Salman worked for PepsiCo where his marketing, operational, and business development leadership spanned beverages and snacks. He held several senior roles including five years as President of PepsiCo UK & Ireland, followed by four years as Global Chief Marketing Officer.
Earlier in his career Salman spent 10 years at Procter & Gamble in brand management working in several countries. His positions, including Marketing Director, covered multiple consumer categories including hair care, paper products, and food.
Salman is on the Board of Directors of ITV PLC in the UK. He is a former member of the Global Advisory Board for the Kellogg School of Management and a former Board member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and The Elizabeth Arden Company.
Salman has lived and worked in the USA, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the UK. He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the USA, a BSc in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University in the USA, and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from De Montfort University in the UK.