Murat Ülker

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Murat Ülker
Murat Ülker.jpg
Murat Ülker
Born (1959-03-21) March 21, 1959 (age 60)
ResidenceIstanbul, Turkey
EducationBoğaziçi University, American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS)
OccupationBusinessman, Philanthropist
Net worthUS$4.8 billion (2018)
TitleChairman, Yıldız Holding
Parent(s)Sabri Ülker
Güzide İman

Murat Ülker (born 1959) is a Turkish billionaire businessman, and the chairman of Yıldız Holding, the largest food company in the CEEMEA Region (Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa). Yıldız owns businesses including Godiva Chocolatier, pladis, and Sok.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Murat Ülker was born to Sabri Ülker and Güzide İman on March 21, 1959 in Istanbul, Turkey.[citation needed] He attended high school at İstanbul Erkek Lisesi and graduated from Boğaziçi University with a degree in business administration. In 1982, he studied abroad at the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS) and trained at Continental Baking Company in the United States. He also worked on various International Executive Service Corps projects.[2]


In 1984, Ülker joined the Ülker Group, part of Yıldız Holding, as a control coordinator. Over the following years, he served as assistant general manager for enterprises, and later, as general manager.[citation needed]

In 2000, Ülker became the CEO of Yıldız Holding, before becoming its chairman in 2008.[3] Under his chairmanship, Yıldız Holding expanded its business and made several acquisitions including GODIVA Chocolatier in 2008 and United Biscuits in 2014.[4] In 2016, Yildiz formed a new global business, pladis, by bringing together three of its brands: Ülker, United Biscuits, and DeMet’s Candy Company.[5]


In 2009, the Ülker family established the Sabri Ulker Foundation to make a lasting contribution to public health around the areas of food and nutrition.

In 2014, the Ülker family contributed $24 million to Harvard University.[6] The funding, distributed over 10 years, was provided to establish The Sabri Ülker Center for Nutrient, Genetic, and Metabolic Research at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The center addresses chronic and complex diseases to help millions of people with illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Ülker is married with three children. He is an art collector. In 2012, Ülker sponsored the retrospective art exhibition "Fifty Years of Urban Walls" at Istanbul Modern featuring 120 pieces by Dogançay.

Ülker aided in the foundation of the Ülkerspor Basketball Club in 1993, which later became Fenerbahçe Ülker. The club has won the league championship four times, the Presidential Cup six times, and the Turkish Cup three times. Ülkerspor also reached the quarterfinals of the FIBA European Champions Cup as well as the FIBA Korać Cup.[8][2] Ülker purchased the naming rights of the Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium for ten years.[9] He has also sponsored the Ülker Sports Arena.[10] Ülker previously supported other football clubs as well, but later withdrew his sponsorship.[11]

In 2018, Ülker was named the richest business person in Turkey with a net worth of $4.8 billion.[12] He was also included on the list of World Billionaires released by Forbes.[13]


  1. ^ "Forbes, Türkiye'nin en zengin insanları listesini açıkladı" (in Turkish). Mlliyet. 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Dünyanın en varlıklı insanları kimler?" (in Turkish). Super Haber TV. 7 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Murat Ülker 'Evet' dedi: Aile geleneğimiz!" (in Turkish). Super Haber. 11 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Ülker to become international Pladis". Daily Sabah. 17 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Murat Ülker'den 'Ülker ve Pladis' açıklaması" (in Turkish). Sabah. 3 January 2018.
  6. ^ "$24 Million Gift to Harvard School of Public Health to Establish Center for Nutrient, Genetic, and Metabolic Research". News. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  7. ^ "$24-Million Donation to School of Public Health". Harvard Magazine. 24 September 2014.
  8. ^ Chris Waugh (17 October 2017). "Who is Murat Ulker? The Turkish billionaire linked with £220million Newcastle United takeover bid". Mirror.
  9. ^ Craig Johns (17 October 2017). "Who is Murat Ulker? A closer look at the Turkish businessman linked with buying Newcastle United". Chronicle Live.
  10. ^ "Murat Ülker: "Sabri Bey, Ülkerspor'un kuruluşuna, şampiyonluk şartıyla izin verdi."" (in Turkish). Sabri Ulker in Hayathi Kayesi.
  11. ^ "Yıldız Holding Başkanı, Ülker Grubu'nun sahibi Murat Ülker, geçtiğimiz yıl gündeme getirdiği futboldan çekilme düşüncesini uygulamaya koydu" (in Turkish). Borsa Gundem. 15 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Murat Ülker 5. defa Türkiye'nin en zengini" (in Turkish). Turkiye. 2 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Forbes milyarderler listesinde 40 Türk! Murat Ülker, Türklerde ilk sırada" (in Turkish). Gidahatti. 6 March 2018.