Yildirim Holdings - President and CEO
Robert Yuksel Yildirim was born in Sivas, Turkey in 1960. He graduated from 19 May High School in Samsun, Turkey. 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 exited the doctoral program to begin his career in San Mateo, California as a design and project engineer at Paceco Corporation, which manufactured container-handling cranes. He worked at Paceco Corp. for nearly five years.
After 10 years of studying and working in the United States, Robert Yuksel Yildirim returned to Turkey in May 1993. He joined the management board of the family-owned company, located in Samsun at that time. The same year, he led the first international achievement of the company, directly importing coal from Russia. In October 1997, Yildirim Group of Companies moved its headquarters to Istanbul. Robert Yuksel Yildirim led the Group in new initiatives in the 2000s, and in 2008, the Group made its first international acquisition in Sweden.
Yildirim Group of Companies has grown to become a global force based in Istanbul by Robert Yuksel Yildirim’s accomplishments in international trade. The company operates in 11 sectors in 49 countries on four continents. Today, the Group is among the leading companies in port management, maritime industry, metals and mining, coal and coke, fertilizers and chemicals, becoming a global player in those areas of interest. The Group continues growing in the international business world since 2008 by acquiring chrome mines, ferrochrome plants, ports, and terminals. Lloyd’s List ranks Robert Yuksel Yildirim among the top 100 most influential people in the shipping industry, top 20 most powerful people in container shipping, and top 10 most powerful people in container terminals. Also, consulting company Drewry lists him as one of the top 20 global leaders in port operations. Robert Yuksel Yildirim is also among the top three leaders of the global chromium industry.
Robert Yuksel Yildirim is the President and CEO of Yildirim Group of Companies. In addition to his responsibilities at Yildirim Group, he is a Board Member of CMA CGM Group. Based in France, CMA CGM Group is the third largest container shipping company in the world, and Yildirim Group owns 24% of its shares. In addition, he is a Member of the Board of Trustees at Garip & Zeycan Yildirim Foundation, and the Chairman of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-Colombia Business Council.
Robert Yuksel Yildirim is married and has two children.