GODIVA has a new CEO. The Yildiz Holding owned premium chocolate company has named Nurtac Ziyal Afridi as its new CEO. She served as interim chief executive officer for two months where she and her leadership team developed a three-year strategy to seize new opportunities through GODIVA’s omnichannel structure.
Afridi is a GODIVA board member and Yildiz Holding’s Chief Strategy and Growth officer. She will work with her teams to continue making the company’s popular chocolates and chocolate-inspired products accessible by extending its channels, which include online and food drug mass, to reach new consumers and engage with loyal consumers in new ways. Year to date, the company has seen significant growth in its consumer base, driven largely by Godiva.com and FDM sales.
She aims to make GODIVA a destination for people looking to treat themselves in addition to the gift-givers who have been the brand’s more traditional demographic.
Afridi led the acquisition of GODIVA in 20087 as well as the licensing deal for GODIVA in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
Before Yildiz Holding, Afridi held leadership positions at other global companies, like Accenture and Arthur Andersen & Co. She earned her MBA in Germany and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance in Istanbul.
Yildiz Holding is headquartered in Istanbul with over 300 brands available in over 120 countries. It is 100 percent owned by the Ülker Family. Yildiz Holding operates globally and serves a 4 billion population with its 61 factories and nearly 65,000 employees worldwide. It is focused on confectionery and the retail business.
Yıldız Holding also owns two leading retail chain stores based in Turkey – Şok Marketler and Bizim Toptan. Şok Marketler is the fastest-growing retail chain in Turkey, and Bizim Toptan is the country’s biggest cash & carry brand in terms of the number of stores. Besides snacks and retail business, the company also produces food, frozen food, vegetable oils, margarines, processed meat and packaging materials. Besler produces consumer margarines, oils, industrial and bakery margarines with its leading brands, BizimYağ and Teremyağ. Kerevitaş, as the first frozen food retail company in Turkey, offers the richest product range in the frozen food market with is SuperFresh brand. Founded within Yıldız Holding in 2019 with the purpose of driving the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey, Yıldız Ventures supports innovative business ideas with three different programs – namely Acceleration, Incubation and Financial Investment. Gözde Girişim, a private equity fund that is listed on the İstanbul Stock Exchange, is also part of Yıldız Holding Group. Yıldız Holding has seven companies listed in Borsa İstanbul Stock Exchange. Among them, Ülker and Kerevitaş have been listed among the top public listed food companies.
GODIVA Chocolatier was founded in Brussels in 1926 by Belgian Chocolatier Pierre Draps. GODIVA is distributed in over 100 countries where customers can experience GODIVA at the brand’s chocolate boutiques, chocolate cafes, GODIVA.com and at many other fine retailers. It is famous for its truffles and shell-moulded chocolate pieces to its European-style biscuits, individually wrapped chocolates, gourmet coffees, hot cocoa, soft serve and other indulgences.