News & Analysis on the Bakery and Snacks Industries
5 - HAMDI ULUKAYA, CEO, Chobani
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Our next CEO also knows a thing or two about meteoric growth.
Pathway to the top: Hamdi Ulukaya was born in Turkey in 1972 and learned about the dairy industry by working at his family's sheep farm and feta cheese operation. He moved to the US in 1994 and enrolled at the University at Albany in 1997. Four years later, he started Euphrates, a feta cheese-making company in upstate New York after his father visited and complained about the quality of cheese on sale. But his big break came in 2005 when he acquired a closed down yogurt factory in South Edmeston from Kraft with a bank loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and created a new business selling Greek yogurt. The rest is history…