A Turkish CEO for the iconic brand:  Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi has been appointed as GODIVA CEO

A Turkish CEO for the iconic brand: Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi has been appointed as GODIVA CEO

GODIVA, the global leader in premium chocolate owned by Yıldız Holding, today named Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi as CEO. The announcement caps her two months serving as interim chief executive officer in which she and her leadership team developed a three-year strategy to seize new opportunities through GODIVA’s dynamic omnichannel structure. 

Afridi, a GODIVA board member as well as Yıldız Holding's Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, said 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 FDM (food drug mass), to reach new consumers and engage with loyal consumers in new ways.  Her appointment comes as GODIVA has sought to bring the company’s chocolate to a wider audience and adjusted its business operations in line with changes in shoppers’ behavior. Year to date, the company has seen significant growth in its consumer base, driven largely by Godiva.com and FDM sales.

“Afridi brings an impressive combination of business, operational and finance expertise to GODIVA along with a strong passion for people and nurturing talent. She has a proven track record of powerful business results in corporate development, which will ensure that GODIVA continues to capture opportunities that honor its roots and align with its bold vision for the future,” said Murat Ülker, GODIVA’s chairman.

Ali Ülker, Chairman of Yıldız Holding, stated the following on the appointment of Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi: “As Yıldız Holding, we are very much focused on increasing women representation at senior executive levels and we have been investing in this development for many years. We pay great attention to preparing our female employees who have improved themselves within our Holding’s vision and corporate culture for such responsibilities and to providing them the best environment for self-improvement through mentorship programs. Therefore, it is great to have Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi as the CEO of a global brand like GODIVA. Wishing her the best of success, I also extend sincere thanks to Murat Ülker and all colleagues for supporting our programs on female executives.”

Afridi: “We focus on leveraging digital technology to exceed the expectations”

Afridi said she’s inspired to lead a Belgium-born, premium brand marked by nearly 95 years of craftsmanship and artisanal chocolate expertise. 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.

What started in the Draps’ family kitchen in 1926 has become an iconic brand with a global footprint across 100 markets, reaching 4 billion consumers and making GODIVA a unique brand that’s synonymous with the world’s most delicious chocolate. Looking to meet the needs of today’s consumers, Afridi said she plans to grow the business in new channels and geographies, expand the product portfolio and augment the customer and consumer relations through digital.

“The exceptional quality of our products reflects our rich and beautiful heritage, dedication to innovation, and commitment to using the finest ingredients. We will continue to extend our reach and leverage an omnichannel approach to deliver on our beloved brand, maintaining a strong connection with our fans and ensuring our premium chocolates are more available and accessible to our global consumers. We continue to be very focused on leveraging digital technology to anticipate the needs of consumers, exceed expectations, and make GODIVA the most top-of-mind premium chocolate brand. I am honored to work with my extraordinary team on these endeavors during such a pivotal time for GODIVA,” Afridi said.

Additional information on Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi

At Yildiz Holding, Afridi played an instrumental role while the business transformed into a global snacking group with more than 300 brands available in over 120 countries. In addition to her operational experience, she led the acquisitions of iconic brands like GODIVA in 2008 and McVitie’s, Carr’s, Jacobs, and BN (United Biscuits) in 2014, the latter of which drove the creation of the pladis company, the third largest biscuit company in the world. Afridi also led the licensing deal for GODIVA in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, she spearheaded the acquisition and IPO of Sok Marketler, which is now the second largest discount retailer in Turkey, and Bizim Toptan, the leading discount retailer company in Turkey. 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.

Media resources

Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi

Nurtaç Ziyal Afridi

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