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Robert Yuksel Yildirim

President & CEO
Yildirim Group

Robert Yuksel YILDIRIM is the President & CEO of YILDIRIM Group of Companies in Istanbul, Turkey. He has been involved in the family companies and businesses for over 14 years. YILDIRIM Group ( has been actively engaged in chrome ore mining, ferrochrome production and trade, fertilizer and chemical production and trade, port management and logistics, energy, coal and coke trade, ship chartering and ownership, shipbuilding, private equity, real estate development and industrial construction. Since 2002, YILDIRIM Group has been one of the most rapidly growing companies in Turkey, with an annual turnover of 1.15 billion USD in 2013 and more than 8,600 employees worldwide. Robert Yuksel YILDIRIM received his bachelor's degree and master's degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University (1983) and Oregon State University (1989), respectively. Prior to founding YILDIRIM Group, he spent over four years at Paceco Corp. in San Mateo, California, as a design and project engineer. Following his return to Turkey in the early 1990s, he joined his brothers in expanding his father's business internationally by creating projects and strategies. In 2008, he spearheaded YILDIRIM Group's first international investment by acquiring Vargön Alloys AB, one of the oldest ferrochrome plants in Europe located in Sweden. Following the success of this investment, Robert Yuksel YILDIRIM made headlines around the world in 2010 when he led YILDIRIM Group in acquiring 20% of CMA CGM, the world's third largest container shipping company. Subsequent international investments include the 2011 acquisition of 50% of Malta Freeport, one of the leading transshipment and logistics centers in the Mediterranean; and the 2013 acquisition of Russian mining company Mechel's chrome assets, which include the vertically integrated Voskhod chrome mine and concentrate plant in Kazakhstan as well as the Tikhvin Ferroalloy Plant in Russia. Robert Yuksel YILDIRIM oversees YILDIRIM Group's foreign trade activities, financing (trade and project) and investments of new projects (container terminal design, shipbuilding and acquisition of companies, etc.).

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