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Hamdi Ulukaya Biography, Wiki 2017
Hamdi Ulukaya was born on the 26th October 1972, in İliç, Erzincan, Turkey, and is a businessman and entrepreneur who is widely known for being the founder, the owner and the CEO of Chobani, LLC, producing America’s No. 1 brand of strained Greek-style yogurt.
Have you ever wondered how much wealth this contractor has accumulated so far? How rich Hamdi Ulukaya is? According to sources, it is estimated that the total of Hamdi Ulukaya’s net worth, as of early 2017, exceeds the sum of $1.7 billion, acquired through his dairy company Chobani, quickly established as the world’s leading yogurt manufacturer.
Hamdi Ulukaya Net Worth $1.7 billion
Hamdi was born into a family of Kurdish ancestry, which owned and operated a small family dairy farm, producing cheese and yogurt on a daily basis. Hamdi attended Ankara University where he was studying political science but in 1997, he transferred to the States where he enrolled at the University of Albany. After taking several business courses, Hamdi began working on an upstate farm. After realizing that the offer of dairy products were not as decent as in his homeland, and listening to his father’s advice, Ulukaya began importing his family’s feta cheese to the US in 2001. This venture provided the basis for Hamdi Ulukaya’s net worth.
After receiving positive and welcoming feedback from his customers, Hamdi in 2002 opened Euphrates, a small wholesale feta cheese manufacture in Johnstown, New York. In 2005, Ulukaya bought an 84-year-old yogurt factory located in South Edmeston, New York, and closed by Kraft Foods. He named his new company Agro Farma, and with the help of former Kraft employees Hamdi began restoring it to its past glory, and perfecting the yogurt recipe. In 2007, he rebranded his company as Chobani and presented its new unique product to the American market as Chobani Greek Yogurt. The company grew and developed rapidly, and soon after its revenues blossomed too, as it became the top-selling brand of yogurt in the USA. These achievements helped Hamdi Ulukaya to add a significant sum to his wealth.
In 2012, Chobani was chosen as the official sponsor of the US Olympic Team, featuring their first international advertising campaign during 2012 Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony in London, UK. Later that year, Ulukaya opened a new, $450 million dairy plant in Twin Falls, Idaho. It soon became the world’s biggest yogurt manufacturer, with 2,000 employees and annual revenues of over $1 billion.
Today, Chobani under the leadership and clever guidance of Hamdi Ulukaya, also operates several yogurt bars and retail cafés. In 2014, they presented Chobani Oats, to-go meal mixtures of yogurt, oats and fruit while in 2016 they introduced an entire line of new flavors. Doubtlessly, all these accomplishments have helped Hamdi Ulukaya to build a successful commercial empire and further boost his net worth.
Apart from Chobani and the dairy business, in 2015 Ulukaya became the leading investor in La Colombe Coffee Roasters.
When it comes to his personal life, Hamdi Ulukaya was married to Ayşe Giray in 1990, but that marriage ended with divorce in 1997. From a relationship with the model Alida Boer from Guatemala, he has a son. When he is not working, in his spare time he enjoys sailing and traveling.
Besides business, he is also philanthropist and is actively involved in various charity causes. In 2014, he donated a sum of $2 million for refugees. For his business and philanthropic efforts, Ulukaya has been honored with several rewards such as Ernst & Young US Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 and 2013, Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award as well as UN Global Leadership Award.