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Board

Robert Yüksel Yıldırım, Chairman

Robert Yüksel Yıldırım is the President and CEO of Yıldırım Group of Companies. He was born in Sivas, Turkey in 1960. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1983. In 1989, he received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University. He began his career as a design and project engineer at Paceco Corporation, working for five years at the container crane manufacturing firm. 

Yüksel Yıldırım joined the management board of the family-owned company in 1993. The same year, he conducted the first international achievement of the company, directly importing coal from Russia. Yüksel Yıldırım led the group in new initiatives in the 2000s, and in 2008, the Group made its first international acquisition in Sweden.

Today, Yıldırım Group is a global player in metals and mining, port management, coal and coke, fertilizers and chemicals, energy, and maritime industry. Lloyd’s List ranks Yüksel Yıldırım among the top 50 most influential people in the shipping industry, and among top 10 most powerful people in container terminals industry. Consulting company Drewry lists him as one of the top 20 global leaders in port operations. Yüksel Yıldırım is also among the top three leaders of the global chromium industry.

In addition to his responsibilities at YILDIRIM Group, he is a Board Member of CMA CGM Group, and Yıldırım Group owns 24% of its shares. He is also the owner and President of Samsunspor Football Club. In addition, he is a Member of the Board of Trustees at Garip & Zeycan Yıldırım Foundation, and the Chairman of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-Kazakhstan Business Council.

Yüksel Yıldırım is married and has two children.

Zeycan Yıldırım, Vice Chairman

Zeycan YILDIRIM is the Chief Marketing Officer of the YILDIRIM Group of Companies and also serves as the Executive Director of the Garip and Zeycan YILDIRIM Foundation. She was born in California in 1991 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Georgia State University and an associate’s degree in Merchandising Product Development from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

As the Chief Marketing Officer of YILDIRIM Group, Zeycan is responsible for all internal and external communications as well as all branding of the Group’s corporate image.

Coming from an extensive background of nonprofit and volunteer work, she began working with the YILDIRIM Foundation in 2018 and rebranded its identity. As the face and voice of the Foundation, much of Zeycan’s formal media and interview training comes from her beauty pageant experience where she also joined initiatives and spoke on various social injustices. This led her to becoming an icon for women’s rights speaking on the issue of violence against women. After the creation of “The World’s Heaviest Jersey” for YILPORT Samsunpor, to highlight this cause, she also became the Social Responsibility Manager for the team. Under her leadership, the YILDIRIM Foundation became focused on education, youth development and gender equality. She created the Foundation’s leading program, English W/Tech, amongst others, after seeing Turkey had a deep need to improve in English Education.

Zeycan is unmarried and has no children yet.

Özer Öz , Board Member

Ozer Oz was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1972. He received his bachelor’s degree in management engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1992. In 1995, he was awarded a master’s degree in finance from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

Over the course of his professional career, Mr. Oz performed the role of general manager of ISBAS, the first privately owned free zone in Istanbul, Turkey; and was a shareholder and the general manager of KOSBAS in Kocaeli, Turkey, the only free zone where shipyards were allowed to operate.

Mr. Oz joined Yıldırım Group in 2003 as General Coordinator of Gemlik Gübre, Yıldırım’s subsidiary for fertilizer production. During the following years, he was appointed as Vice President of Yıldırım Group responsible for business development and has been acting as board member in various YILDIRIM companies.

Mr. Oz currently occupies the position of the Chief Operating Officer in the Yıldırım Group. In addition, he is the Chairman of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-Portugal Business Council. 

Ozer Oz is married and has two children.