Chair of the Board of Directors

Cengiz Solakoğlu graduated from the Istanbul Academy of Economics and Business Studies (now Marmara University) in 1964 and started his professional career in sales at Beko Ticaret A.Ş. in 1967. In 1977, he was appointed General Manager at the same company. In 1983, Solakoğlu was appointed General Manager of the Atılım Company under the Koç Group. During his eight-year tenure, he pioneered efforts to restructure and strengthen Arçelik’s “Authorized Dealer System.” Solakoğlu took office as Vice Chairman of Koç Holding Consumer Goods Group in 1991, and then as Chairman of the same group in 1994. Also serving as a member of the Executive Committee of Koç Group between 1996 and 1998, he was appointed Chairman of Koç Holding Consumer Durables Group in 2002. After 38 years of continuous service, Solakoğlu retired from the Group in 2004, due to the Group policy of mandatory retirement at the age of 60. Cengiz Solakoğlu is Member of the Board of Directors and chairs the Board of Şok Marketler A.Ş., a retail company of Yıldız Holding, as well as Bizim Toptan. Cengiz Solakoğlu is among the founders of the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV) and the 1907 Fenerbahçe Association. He was named a Leader of Civil Society by the Ekonomist magazine in 2003.


Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ali Ülker was born in 1969, following his education at Istanbul Erkek Lisesi he graduated from the Business Administration Department of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Having participated at different education programs at IMD, INSEAD, Wharton, and Harvard, Ali Ülker 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, in 2000 Vice Chief of Retail Group, and in 2001 General Director of Merkez Gıda Pazarlama A.Ş. In 2002, he rose to Vice Chairman of the Food Group and in 2005 Chairman of the Group. After working as Vice Chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors for nine years, as of January 29, 2020, Ali Ülker became the Chairman of Yıldız Holding.

Having a deep expertise and experience in marketing and sales, Ali Ülker is especially interested in innovation and supports teams working on this subject in the Group. He enjoys providing consultancy to young people. He loves being in open air and nature, and engaging in sports. Fluent in English and German, Ali Ülker is married with three children.


Board Member

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, Murat Ülker 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 based on the "Vertical Integration" model.

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, Mr. Ülker continues to take an active role in companies affiliated to the holding as a Member of the Board, and his role as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at pladis and Godiva.

Murat Ülker enjoys sailing, and traveling with his wife and three children. He is also known for his interest in modern art and Islamic calligraphy.


Board Member

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 Business School and IMD Switzerland. Also, he completed the Insead program in Singapore.

Starting his career as an engineer at the Ministry of Education, Construction Works Department in 1981, Mehmet Tütüncü was Production Manager, Plant Manager, and General Manager at Best Rothmans Entegre Sigara ve Tütün Sanayi A.Ş. during 1987-1996.

In 1996, Mehmet Tütüncü joined Ülker Gıda A.Ş. and served as a business coordinator until 1998. He served as General Manager of Ülker Biscuit and Chocolate plants, Ülker Group Vice President, Chief of Foods and Beverages Group, Chief of Foods, and Chief of Ülker International Group.

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.


Board Member

Serving as a Board member for ŞOK Marketler since 2013, Mr. Kalkandelen currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of Franklin Templeton Danışmanlık A.Ş. Since joining Franklin Templeton in 2006, Mr. Kalkandelen has focused on Emerging Markets, Small-cap Companies and Turkish Stocks. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Netlog Lojistik A.Ş., D-Market Elektronik Hizmetler ve Ticaret A.Ş., Defacto Perakende Ticaret A.Ş., ŞOK Marketler Ticaret A.Ş., Bizim Toptan Satış Mağazaları A.Ş. and Gözde Girişim Sermayesi Yatırım Ortaklığı A.Ş. Kalkandelen holds an MBA degree, with honors, from Sabancı University. During his MBA, he also studied strategic management at Florida University, Warrington School of Business Management, and he completed the Labor Economics Department of the Political Sciences Faculty, Ankara University, as a high honor student. Erman Kalkandelen speaks English and Turkish.


Independent Member of the Board of Directors

Born in Tokat in 1957, Ahmet Bal graduated from the Department of Economics and Finance, Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University. He joined the Board of Accountants of the Ministry of Finance. Earning the title of Chief Accountant and Certified Public Accountant in 1991, he received his MBA degree in Business Administration from Nottingham University in England in 1992 and started to work as Assistant Financial Affairs Coordinator at Anadolu Endüstri Holding in 1994. From 1995 to 1998, he served as Finance Director at Efes Sınai Yatırım Ticaret A.Ş. in charge of Anadolu Group’s overseas Coca Cola operations, as General Manager from 1998 to 1999 at Efes Sınai Yatırım Holding A.Ş. Bal served as Financial Affairs Coordinator for the Automotive, Finance, and Stationery companies in Anadolu Endüstri Holding’s Financial Affairs Department between 1999 and 2006. Between 2006 and 2012, he served as Audit Coordinator in charge of Group Companies in Anadolu Endüstri Holding. From 2013 to 2018, Bal served as the Audit President in charge of audits of all Anadolu Group companies. Ahmet Bal is married and has two children. Ahmet Bal is an Independent Board Member at Bizim Toptan Satış Mağazaları A.Ş., as well as ŞOK Marketler, and an Independent Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board at Ülker Bisküvi Sanayi A.Ş.


Independent Member of the Board of Directors

Fatma Pınar Ilgaz graduated from Izmir Bornova Anatolian High School in 1983 and from the Faculty of Administrative Sciences, Department of Public Administration of Boğaziçi University in 1988. In 1989, she started her career in banking and continued as assistant finance manager in the financial leasing sector. Since 1995, she works at the ARGE Consultancy department. She continues to provide management consultancy in various projects as a Managing Partner at ARGE Consultancy. Within the scope of her expertise areas such as Strategic Assessment and Performance Improvement Projects, Institutionalization, Corporate Governance Structures and Sustainability Strategies, Integrated Thinking and Reporting, and Human Resources areas under ARGE Consultancy, Ms. Ilgaz has conducted management consultancy projects for more than 100 institutions and companies of different magnitudes and in different sectors. She serves at the Advisory Board of a food industry company with production and global sales activities. She is Managing Partner at ARGE Consultancy (www.arge.com), Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Argüden Governance Academy Foundation (www.argudenacademy.org), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Private Sector Volunteers (OSGD- www.osgd.org), Member of the Placement Committee of the Association of Women at the Board of Directors. She is an Independent Board Member of Ülker Bisküvi and Penta Teknoloji.

She was chosen for the “More Women on Boards” program and, along with 40 female managers in the first group selected in Turkey, successfully completed training courses: these included preparations for becoming an independent member of the boards of directors, information, and mentor referrals.

Ms. Ilgaz has co-authored books on Corporate Governance Models, Change Management, Sustainable Success Model, and Management of Volunteer Organizations.


Independent Member of the Board of Directors

Aytaç Saniye Mutlugüller obtained her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Boğaziçi University and spent most of her professional life at the Şişecam Group, which operates in all fields of glass with production plants in 16 countries. She began her professional life as an assistant specialist for finance and then was directly involved in the domestic and overseas growth of the Group that adopted a centralized financial management style. Ms. Mutlugüller supported the development of a robust financial structure and played an active role as manager in the first-time implementation of various financial products. She represented the Group in several conferences as a speaker, in addition to her representative duties for foreign and domestic shareholders. After she retired as the Vice President for Finance, she served the Boards of four companies under the Group, provided advisory, and supported the implementation of different projects.

Aytaç Saniye Mutlugüller is an Independent Board Member at ŞOK Marketler and at the same time Independent Member of the Board of Directors at Gözde Girişim Sermayesi Yatırım Ortaklığı A.Ş. and Penta Teknoloji Ürünleri Dağıtım Ticaret A.Ş.

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