Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chobani, will receive the Maverick in Leadership Award from the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute at the 133rd Yale Invitation-Only CEO Summit on June 8 at the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building . The Maverick in Leadership Award will be presented by Farooq Kathwari, President, President and CEO of Ethan Allen; and Danny Meyer, Founder and CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group.
Ulukaya founded Chobani in 2005, and since then Chobani has become one of the fastest growing food companies of the past decade and a pioneer in the natural food movement. In less than six years, Chobani has generated over $1 billion in annual sales and today Chobani is the #1 brand in the yogurt category.
Raised in a family of dairy farmers in a small village in eastern Turkey, Ulukaya was first inspired by a mission to make better food more accessible. Since the beginning, the company has donated a portion of its profits to charitable causes each year. Additionally, Ulukaya implemented a groundbreaking program whereby all full-time employees, regardless of level, became owners at Chobani. He also took the rare step in the making of instituting a fully paid six-week parental leave program for all new parents in the company.
As the company enjoyed continued success, Ulukaya launched the Chobani Incubator program to mentor and support socially responsible food entrepreneurs and further the company’s mission of bringing better food to more people. Ulukaya founded the Tent Partnership for Refugees to mobilize the private sector to improve the lives and livelihoods of refugees worldwide, and he has also signed the Giving Pledge, dedicating the majority of his personal wealth to the cause. . For these efforts, he was named Distinguished Advocate by the United Nations Refugee Agency. Ulukaya is also a recipient of the Oslo Business for Peace award and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME for his work on the refugee crisis and his innovative approach to business.
Summit organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, commented, “Hamdi Ulukaya is living, breathing proof that doing good is not antithetical to doing well. In fact, he didn’t just bring the American Dream to life for himself; he has shared his success with all his constituencies, including his employees, his communities and his customers. From his humble roots as a first-generation immigrant who came to the United States with few contacts and fewer resources, Ulukaya has made Chobani not only a global yogurt powerhouse, but also an inspiring example of the good businesses that can be made. always putting people first. Whether distributing capital to company employees, revolutionizing parental leave policies in manufacturing, or launching support, hiring and training programs for refugees, Hamdi lives by its values. fundamentals. We are honored to recognize his courageous entrepreneurial journey and personal heroism in overcoming some of society’s greatest challenges.
The Maverick in Leadership Award recognizes CEOs and leaders who are disruptors, bringing creativity with honorable character to their industries in new ways with global significance. Past recipients of the award are: revered gospel, jazz and rock and roll icon Darlene Love; Eric Yuan, CEO, Zoom; Reem Fawzy, Founder and Managing Director, Rimo Tours Group and Pink Taxi Egypt; Edward W. Stack, President and CEO, DICK’S Sporting Goods; Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks and managing partner of Springboard Growth Capital; Stuart A. Weitzman, Founder, STUART WEITZMAN; Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; John J. Legere, President and CEO, T-Mobile USA; and Alan Patricof, Founder and Managing Partner, Greycroft Partners.
The theme of the Summit is “The World is Round: Think Global, Act Local or Think Local, Act Local”. The event promises to be a lively and candid discussion with prominent global business leaders from all sectors.
Key executive attendees include the CEOs and executives of: Pfizer; American Airlines; Citigroup; Goldman Sachs; Liberty Media; Molson Coors; AMC Entertainment; amphenol; Snap-on; Verizon; Marsh; Ethan Allen; Paul Weiss; Lazard; and the Anti-Defamation League as well as 35 major city mayors.
Conference partners include AccuWeather, Alix Partners, Deloitte, Evercore, Gladstone Place Partners, IBM, NewsGuard, Paul, Weiss, Stagwell and UPS.