Ak Gıda | Management


After achieving my degree from the Management Engineering Department of Istanbul Technical University Business Administration Faculty, I went on to get my master’s in finance from the Toledo University in the United States. I started my career at MetLife in the U.S. After this I worked at Kar Gıda for a time as the product manager and at Inchcape Retrans as the commercial marketing manager.

In 1995 I worked at Coca-Cola İçecek as the key customer manager and as the Asian sales center manager respectively. After working as the vice president in charge of sales and distribution at Yaşar Holding I became the regional commercial director in Nigeria for Coca-Cola. After that I took over as director of the Yaşar Holding Food and Beverage Group.

I joined Yıldız Holding in 2011 as the vice president of the food and beverage group. Since December of 2013 I have been serving as the CEO at Ak Gıda, which is in the Grup Lactalis structure.

Healthy living and exercise are important to me. I play tennis regularly and am interested in kick boxing. İçim Fit and İçim Kefir are two of our important products that I like and enjoy consuming.

Ali Sözen

Upon graduating from Hacettepe University Food Engineering Department in 1998 I worked at Sarten Ambalaj in the Quality, R&D and Production departments at different levels and in different positions for 7 years. In my last 2 years there I was working as the Quality Director in charge of all factories.

I joined the Unilever family in 2005. I managed the packaging and product development operations in the R&D department of the Algida factory during my first 3 years. Then I moved from ice cream to Food and Beverage and worked as the Quality Manager at the Knorr&Lipton factory between 2008 and 2014. After that I joined the Unilever Global Quality team and worked as the Quality Manager in charge of the Asia, Africa and Middle East regions between 2014 and 2017. Here we designed the quality systems to be applied in all of the functions of all Unilever factories on every continent, and generalized these systems throughout the world.

Since October 2017 I have been in charge of ensuring and improving quality throughout the entire chain that extends from supply to the consumer and keeping up with the legal procedures concerning the products at Ak Gıda as the Turkey Quality Group Manager.

The most enjoyable part of working at Ak Gıda is working closely with both global and local teams in an innovative and dynamic structure to bring the Lactalis expertise to our local operations and achieve results that add value to the company.

I get great enjoyment from getting to know different countries and cultures, therefore I like to travel, I like nature walks, swimming, biking and skiing. İçim Çilekli Kefir and İçim Süzme Peynir are among our products that I consume the most.

Şenay Avcu

I graduated from Trakya University Food Engineering department and continued to get my master’s from the same department in the same university. After that I went to Anadolu University to study AÖF (Open University) business. I worked at Tikveşli Süt Fab. A.Ş. as a production engineer, supervisor and manager in that order between 1985 and 1996.

Between 1996 and 2001 I worked in the positions of production manager, projects manager and factory manager at Danone Turkey. After that I worked as production supervisor, production manager, operations manager and production director at Ak Gıda. I continued to work as the project and investment director until 2012 and for 2 years I served in the position of project and r&d director. In 2014 I started working in the position I am in now as the industrial director.
When I find the time from my busy schedule I like to go fishing, go on culture tours, watch documentaries, go on hikes and swim.

İçim Labne, İçim Kaşar, İçim Ayran, İçim Kaymaklı Yoğurt, İçim Süzme Peynir, İçim Organik Süt, İçim Tereyağı and İçim Kaymak are all my favorite İçim products that are never missing from my refrigerator.

İlhan Oğuz

I am a graduate of Istanbul University English Economics Faculty. After my master’s program at George Washington University I started my career at Unilever in charge of chain stores. Later I continued to work at Unilever as Lipton Turkey’s product Manager. In the years that followed I continued at both Coca-Cola Company and Unilever as the beverage product manager and marketing manager in charge of Central Asia and Caucasus. For about 5 years I was the general manager of Kare Pazarlama, which I founded myself and did the distribution of Turkey’s leading fast consumption product companies Unilever, Pepsi Cola, Tat and SEK. After that I worked as the regional director in charge of the gulf countries and Central Asia at Aujun Industries, a leading beverage producer in the Middle East, and gained important experience working for 5 years based out of Dubai. After returning to Turkey I became the General Manager of Yıldız Holding and Europe’s major fruit juice producer Yıldız Granin, a partnership of Eckes and then again as the General Manager in charge of Stationary at Umur Grubu, the owner of Turkey’s largest Printing and Stationary company for 5 years.
I am very pleased to be able to utilize my experience in sales and marketing, as Turkey Sales Director of Group Lactalis-Ak Gıda, in a leading international company producing products that are rapidly growing and beneficial to human health such as milk and dairy.

As far as sports go I enjoy mountain biking and snowboarding in the winter. İçim Kaymaklı Tava Yoğurt is the product I enjoy most.

Mehmet Yılmaz

I graduated from Istanbul University English Business department. After college I started working in the internal audit department at Yıldız Holding to satisfy my interest in all the internal operations and procedures of a company. After that I had the opportunity to both redesign the financial affairs structure of a company and to work with a different culture alongside Japanese administrators as the Financial Affairs Manager at Nissin Yıldız JV. Since January of 2013 I have been working at Grup Lactalis-Ak Gıda first as the Financial Affairs Manager then as the Financial Affairs Director. I regard my experience during the company’s simultaneous public listing and sale process, one of the most important milestones in my career. I have always defined Ak Gıda as a large school and library. There is nothing we can think of that we can’t do and no information that we can ask for and not be able to access at Ak Gıda.

I enjoy reading and learning new things, watching science fiction movies, making wooden toys and gardening.

Burhan Özmen

I graduated from Beykent University Mathematic Computer Engineering Department with a scholarship. I completed my master’s (MBA) in America at Quinnipiac University in Business. After working in the U.S. as a Financial Analyst for 2 years I returned to Turkey and started working at Mondelez International as a Financial Planning Business Partner. After working in financial planning and financial reporting respectively I was appointed as the Financial Planning Manager in charge of Eastern Europe and the Middle East in Dubai. 1 year later I returned to Turkey as the Industrial Controller in charge of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Before joining Ak Gıda in October of 2017 as the Administration Control Director I was the acting Finance Director in the Consumer Health Department at GlaxoSmithKline.

I feel that the knowledge from Group Lactalis and the local management is blended with excellent synergy. As the Administration Control Director I am happy to be a part of this powerful and proactive management. I am interested in sailing and water sports. My favorite among our products is İçim Fit Coffee flavored.

Sait Uçman

I graduated from Yıldız Teknik University Industrial Engineering Department, then completed my master’s in the same department. I have been working in human resources for over 22 years. After working at Alarko for 12 years I became the Human Resources Director in charge of the Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan (total of 9 countries) in the International Operations section of Coca-Cola Beverages. After that I led the human resources procedures of 16 different companies in Turkey, Romania, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Kazakhstan as the Yıldız Holding Food Group Human Resources Group Director. I have been working as the Human Resources Director at Ak Gıda since 2015.

In addition to my degree and master’s I have participated in a number of different courses and programs on human resources including the Istanbul University Human Resources Program and Falconburry HR Executives' Mini MBA. Among my interests are macroeconomics, talent management, leadership development and managing cultural differences. I would define myself as a person who is open to learning and innovation. I am very involved in motor sports and world cuisines. My favorite among the products we produce is İçim Ayran, a beverage that always refreshes me.

The thing I like most about my job at Ak Gıda is that we value all opinions and ideas and make decisions quickly to implement these.

Erkan Güngör

I am a Boğaziçi University Business graduate. Before Ak Gıda I worked in various sales and commercial marketing positions under categories like food, cleaning and health in the Turkey, Middle East and Africa organizations of Procter & Gamble. I have been working as Trade Director at Ak Gıda since 2015. I am proud to be part of the organization of Ak Gıda and Group Lactalis, which provides beneficial products to people.

Tolga Hisarlıoğlu

After graduating from Ege University Food Engineering department, I worked in all the divisions of purchasing at Danone Tikveşli for 8 years. During this time I completed my Executive MBA at Boğaziçi University. Then I moved into the carbonated beverage sector and took over the Strategic Purchasing of Turkey, the Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan regions at the Coca-Cola Beverage company for 5 years. Getting acquainted with different cultures during this period was very enjoyable and helped to expand my perspective. In 2017 I started my job as Purchasing Director at Ak Gıda and returned to the dairy sector. I am responsible for determining and implementing purchasing strategies in line with the sustainable growth of my team and my company and our goal of providing consumers with the best quality and best tasting products.

I can easily say that Ak Gıda is the fastest, most agile company I have ever worked in. It is a great pleasure to work in such a company and experience these changes with my colleagues in our present day when conditions change very rapidly.

I like to be immersed in nature and riding bikes, skiing and exploring caves are among my hobbies. My favorite products are İçim Dolcia Chocolate and İçim Rahat Lactose-free milk.

Levent Özcan

I am a graduate of Trakya University Food Engineering Department. I completed my master’s at the same university and completed the MBA program at Sakarya University. I started my career at Tikveşli Sanayi. In 1998, when Danone bought out Tikveşli, I continued as the production supervisor. I have been working at Ak Gıda since September of 2001. After working in the positions of production engineer, production supervisor and location factory manager, I have been the Dairy Purchasing Director since March of 2014. I enjoy working for the sector’s greatest company. Along with Group Lactalis process we aim to improve our business processes in quite a dynamic setting utilizing our global practice and experience.

I like soccer, talking walks and swimming. My favorites among the products we produce are İçim Ayran and İçim Fit Chocolate flavored.

Recep Ateş

Collecting milk over the widest geography in Turkey Ak Gıda subjects each drop of milk to 16 different tests at 3 different quality check points and only allows it into the factory for processing after the milk has been approved...


Group Lactalis was founded in 1933 by André Besnier. In the initial stage only a limited amount of camembert cheese was being produced manually. In 1967 the annual milk production reached 110 million liters and in 1976 the number of employees became 2000. Currently it is among the top 15 food companies in the world.

İçim İçim Rahat İçim İçimino İçim Dolcia İçim Simitle İçim Şef İçim Fit İçim Light