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. Earlier this year, 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, last year Ulukaya announced a groundbreaking profit-sharing program for Chobani’s 2,000 employees. That same year, 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.
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.
Ulukaya was also celebrated as a Giver on the NRF Foundation’s List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2018.