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Board of Directors

Cengiz Solakoğlu (Chairman of the Board of Directors )

Cengiz Solakoğlu graduated from Istanbul Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences, which currently operates as Marmara University, in 1964. He began to work as a salesman at Beko Ticaret A.Ş. in 1967 and became the General Manager of the company in 1977. He held this position until 1983, when he became the General Manager of Atılım Company, which also belonged to Koç Group. During this 8-year office, he led the works on “Restructuring and strengthening Arçelik Authorized Dealer System”. He was appointed Vice President of Koç Holding Consumption Group in 1991 and Chairman of Consumption Group in 1994. Solakoğlu, who also served as a Member of the Group Executive Board between 1996 and 1998, was appointed as the Chairman of Koç Holding Consumer Durables Group in 2002 and retired from Koç Group in 2004 due to 60 years of age principle. He had worked in Koç Group for 38 years without interruption. Solakoğlu was among the founders of 1907 Fenerbahçe Association and The Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV). He was chosen the Civil Society Leader of 2003 as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey by Economist Magazine.

Mehmet Tütüncü ( (Deputy Chairman of Board of Directors)

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. 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 Food Drink Europe & President of the Liaison Committee of Food Drink Europe.

Ali Ülker (Member of Board of Directors)

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 Chairman of Yıldız Holding. Ali Ülker is married with three children. He enjoys fishing, cinema and literature, as well as playing basketball and billiards.

Fahrettin Günalp Ertik (Member of Board of Directors)

After graduating from Bilkent University Department of Management, Fahrettin Günalp Ertik started his career as a Financial Controller at Finansbank. Between 2002 and 2019 he worked at Yıldız Holding as Internal Auditor, Kellogg Finance Manager, Ülker Finance Coordinator, Food Group Finance Coordinator, Food & Beverages and Retail Group CFO, Besler General Manager, and Önem Gıda Vice President. Having implemented major projects throughout his career at Yıldız Holding, Mr. Ertik completed INSEAD Leadership Program in 2011, then studied finance, sales, marketing, and leadership at Wharton Business School and Kellogg School of Management. Before re-joining Yıldız Holding, Mr. Ertik became the CFO and Board Member of Azersun Holding in 2019. 

Yahya Ülker (Member of Board of Directors)

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.

Ahmet Bal (Independent Board Member)

Ahmet Bal was born in Tokat in 1957. In 1981, he graduated from the Department of Economics and Finance of the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University and entered the Board of Accountants of the Ministry of Finance. He received the title of Chief Accountant and Certified Public Accountant in 1991. Mr. Bal received his MBA degree in Business Administration from Nottingham University in England in 1992. He started to work as an Assistant Financial Affairs Coordinator in Anadolu Endüstri Holding in 1994. He carried his duties as Finance Director in Efes Sinai Yatırım Ticaret A.Ş. between 1995 and 1998 and as General Manager between 1998-1999. He served as the Financial Affairs Coordinator for the Automotive, Finance and Stationery companies in Anadolu Endüstri Holding's Financial Affairs Department between 1999-2006. He worked as the Audit Coordinator responsible for all Group companies Anadolu Endüstri Holding between 2006-2012. From 2013 to 2018, he served as the Audit President responsible for the audit of all Anadolu Group companies. Ahmet Bal is married and has two children. He is independent board member at Şok Marketler.

Ömer Faruk Sevgili (Independent Board Member)

Born in Siirt in 1968. He graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Law (1991) after education at Siirt High School. As a member of Istanbul Bar Association, he began with his own business (1994), then he continued as a Bakırköy Municipality Legal Counsel, Izmir Çiğli Air Base Disciplinary Officer, Turkey Shipping Industry Legal Counsel. After these continuous in-house duties, he started his own business as a member of Ankara Bar Association. Together with his law firm Mizan Law and Consulting (No: 26/20 Çankaya / Ankara), He has undertaken duties such as KÖY-TEKS Holding Board Member, TÜPRAŞ Supervisory Board Member, Bicycle Federation Disciplinary Board Member, TÜKÇEV Board of Trustees and Board Member. He is married with two children. He speaks Arabic.

Berin Akarsu (Independent Board Member)

Berin Akarsu was born in Diyarbakır in 1972, completed Primary and Secondary education in T.E.D. Ankara College. After graduating from Department of Economics of Bilkent University in 1994 she worked one year in family company and received her MBA degree in Finance from Butler University in 1997. In 1997, she started her professional career in Akfen Group at the Insurance and Finance departments. I She was appointed as a finance manager in 2000 to Turkey’s first Build-OperateTransfer airport project, Atatürk Airport. For 15 years she held various senior positions in the Finance Department of TAV Havalimanları and TAV Construction. She then worked as an advisor to the CEO between 2015-2018 while also serving on the Board of Directors of Havaş, TAV İşletme Hizmeteri A.Ş. and TAV Park. She has worked in various non-profit organizations and she is currently working as a volunteer (student mentor) in Sharing and Solidarity (PAYDA) Platform Assosiation