Hamdi Ulukaya

Chobani Founder & CEO

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What Is Your Worst Work Experience?

When we had these small quality issues in our plant in Idaho, and it's the first time we were having this issue. It was small but we failed, and I failed. I immediately took my…

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What Is Your Corporate Culture?

We wanted to have, from day one, that everyone come to Chobani as who they are. With no fear of criticism, with no fear of judgment. Because I didn't know, I've never done this before.…

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What’s Your Power Food?

Plain Chobani, honey from upstate, walnuts, and either blueberries or pomegranate, depends on the season.

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How Do You Celebrate Success?

How to handle success is extremely important and it becomes part of the culture at the same time and I said to my colleagues in the fourth year in at Chobani and I said to…

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How Do You Overcome Indecision?

Make a decision. You fail it, fine, make it fast, and then go to the next one. The worst part is, you wait too long to make a mistake, and then you will wait too…

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What Is a Unique Challenge Faced by Women Entrepreneurs?

Well I think that creating a business and being an entreprenuer among certain, maybe among woman, maybe among different type of background people or say no, that's not for me. I don't think I can…

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What Happened to You as a Child That Changed Your Life?

I, I grew up in this tiny little town and we grew up as nomads so we, we went up into the mountains, magical magical times when I'm thinking about it. We'd go and make…

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What’s the Most Effective Marketing Technique You Use?

You really don't need a lot of marketing budget to get the voice across everywhere. People will do it for you. One of the most powerful tool of getting your product and your brand out…

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When Did You Know Your Business Was Validated?

I gave everything I had to design of this cup and what's in it, and it took me two years. First time I shipped it, it was October 2007, that's exactly 10 years ago, now.…

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Where Did You Get the Idea for Your Company?

So when I moved here, the first thing I realized that there's no good cheese, there's no good yogurt. I got used to. I found out that it wasn't that the American's wouldn't eat simple,…

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How Have Your Parents Affected You?

My mom she was the silent power and my dad was this big shot you know in town. I don't know which one has effected me more. My father was just an expert on humans,…

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What’s Your Management Style?

I like to talk to people, I like to be on the floor, I like to interact. That is, that is one of the most powerful communication in my opinion is to be, human interaction.…

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When Did Customer Feedback Make You Change Something?

One of the best advice I take from my consumer is the flavors. How about this, can you make this strawberry with rhubarb? I said, I love strawberry rhubarb pie, but it's tough. But, you…

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"Raised on a dairy farm in a small village in Turkey"

Hamdi Ulukaya is founder, Chairman and CEO of Chobani, LLC, one of the fastest growing food companies in the last decade and a pioneer for the natural food movement. Raised in a dairy-farming family in eastern Turkey, Ulukaya launched Chobani in 2007 with the mission and vision of making better food more accessible.

In less than five years, Chobani became the No. 1–selling Greek Yogurt brand in the U.S. with more than a billion dollars in annual sales. In 2017, Chobani was named by Fast Company magazine as one of the 10 most innovative companies in the world, and number one in both the Food and Social Good categories.

Ulukaya has always made giving back to the community a priority for Chobani. From the beginning, the company has donated a portion of its profits to charitable causes, many of them in Idaho and New York where its products are made. An advocate of reducing income and wealth inequality nationwide, Ulukaya announced a groundbreaking profit-sharing program for Chobani’s 2,000 employees. Ulukaya also took the rare step in manufacturing of implementing six weeks of paid parental leave for all mothers and fathers at the company.

In 2016, Ulukaya launched the Chobani Food Incubator to empower and mentor socially responsible food entrepreneurs, and further deliver on the company’s mission to provide better food for more people. A devoted philanthropist, Ulukaya founded the Tent Foundation and signed the Giving Pledge in 2015, committing the majority of his wealth to addressing the global refugee crisis. He has been named an Eminent Advocate by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.