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"Stars of the Year" Awarded for the 16th Time

Mar 13, 2024

The "Stars of the Year Award Ceremony," where Yıldız Holding employees share innovative projects that add value to society and business, was held for the 16th time this year. The projects deemed worthy of the award were selected through voting by 75,000 Yıldız Holding employees and an expert jury from around the world.

The "Stars of the Year Award Ceremony," an annual traditional event that reinforces the corporate culture of celebrating achievements together and where Yıldız Holding employees' innovative projects are rewarded, took place at the Ülker Sports and Event Hall on March 7th. The ceremony, which brought together thousands of Yıldız Holding employees from all over the world and Turkey and held for the 16th time this year, received 180 applications in 10 categories. Projects that won awards at the ceremony, where applications from all around the world—from Turkey to China, the UK to Saudi Arabia, Egypt to Australia, and the Netherlands to Nigeria—were evaluated, were determined by the votes of 75,000 employees and an expert jury. This year, the Chair’s Award of the Year was given to two separate projects in the areas of Diversity and Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability. The Diversity and Inclusion Award, one of Yıldız Holding's global values, went to pladis's Neurodiversity Network, while the Environmental Sustainability Award was given to Ülker for its Integrated Sustainability Vision.

Ali Ülker: "Inclusion and cultural diversity are riches for us"

Yıldız Holding Chair Ali Ülker said, "As an institution that has embraced diversity and inclusion since its foundation, we believe that cultural differences are our greatest wealth. Last year, we declared it the 'Diversity and Inclusion' year, one of our global values, and accelerated projects in this area across all our companies. Among the many good practices applied, pladis's Neurodiversity Network Project stood out as the most inclusive and innovative project. On the other hand, we continue to create positive transformation in our extensive ecosystem with our projects in sustainability. Last year, I announced that I would give the Environmental Sustainability Award, a special award from the Chair’s Award of the Year, to encourage our companies to undertake studies with a holistic perspective that also touches our stakeholders. I congratulate the Ülker team, which received the award for its leadership on a global scale in environmental sustainability and pioneering efforts in this field."

During the ceremony, Murat Ülker, member of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors, Chairman of the Board of pladis and Godiva, had a conversation with journalist Candaş Tolga Işık about diversity, saying, "At Yıldız Holding, we have a goal we call Goal21. The letter 'A' in this goal actually represents Alignment in English. But we call it Unity of Purpose instead of aligning. We don't want to align or be the same; we want to be different, and the more different we are, the richer we are. With over 75,000 employees holding passports from 98 different countries and all our differences, each of us is working towards the same goal. Our goal is to Make Happy, Be Happy. We aim to be happy by making all our customers and stakeholders happy."

Mehmet Tütüncü: "We will continue to create value with our 75,000 employees"

Yıldız Holding Vice Chair and CEO Mehmet Tütüncü said in his opening speech at the ceremony, "In today's world, where change is constant and absolute, 'managing uncertainty' emerges as one of the most critical competencies for companies. Uncertainty harbors both risks and opportunities. The important thing is to change our perspective and thought system to focus not only on risks but also to benefit from opportunities. As 75,000 employees under the Yıldız Holding roof, we all have characteristics that make us who we are. However, when we move together with these different characteristics, we can create collective impact and value. As in the past, I believe that we will make our successes sustainable by working as a team in the face of uncertainties. I wholeheartedly congratulate all my colleagues who have won awards in the Stars of the Year with their exemplary projects."

In a speech at the ceremony, pladis CEO Salman Amin said, "The Stars of the Year Awards are one of the most important times of the year for us, where we celebrate the achievements of our colleagues over the past year. As one of the fastest-growing snack companies in the world, I was very pleased and proud that pladis teams won many awards in different categories with their innovative projects."

Projects Winning the 16th Stars of the Year Awards:

Contribution to Growth: Teremyağ proudly presents: The most growing brand in 2023 (Kerevitaş & YİB)

Operational Excellence: Capacity Gain & Loss Reduction with Operational Excellence (pladis Türkiye)

Best Performing Marketing Campaign: McVitie's True Originals Campaign (pladis UK&I)

Best Market Share Gain in Category or Trade: Not Only Best For Throat, Also Best For Market Share (pladis Türkiye)

Innovation Innovative Approach to Extend Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables (ŞOK Marketler)

Digital Transformation: Rise of the Machines (pladis Türkiye)

Invest in People: OPeRa on Stage (Yıldız Holding)

Happiness: Corporate Social Responsibility: Nutritious Biscuit (pladis Türkiye)

Social Media Heroes: Building a Yummy Youtube Channel from Scratch: Hamur Bizim İşimiz (Kerevitaş & YİB)

Chairman’s Award of the year - “Environmental Sustainability: Ranking the Top Position in ESG Performance Worldwide: Ülker’s Integrated Sustainability Vision (pladis Türkiye)

Chairman’s Award of the year - “Diversity and Inclusion: Neurodiversity Network (pladis UK&I)