Murat Ülker was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1959. He is a Turkish industrialist and businessman, and is chairman of Yıldız Holding, the largest food company in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Turkey’s leading food group. Ülker is a second generation executive of the Ülker family business, which was established by his father, Sabri Ülker, and uncle, Asım Ülker, in 1944.
Ülker is an accomplished baker and chocolatier; he began his professional career in 1982 and received further training at the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS). He also worked as an intern at the Continental Baking Company in the US.
Ülker joined Yıldız Holding as a control coordinator in 1984. Over the following years, he served as assistant general manager for enterprises, and later, as general manager.
In 2000, Ülker became the CEO of Yıldız Holding, and he has served as chairman since 2008.
Under Ülker’s chairmanship, Yıldız Holding made several acquisitions and in 2016 it brought together United Biscuits, Ulker, Godiva Chocolatier and DeMet’s Candy Company to form a new global business, pladis.
According to Euromonitor International, pladis is currently number 3 in biscuits and number 7 in chocolate globally. Ülker is the company’s chairman.