GODIVA has officially named Nurtac Ziyal Afridi as CEO after she served at the company’s helm for two months in the interim.

During those two months, Afridi and her leadership team developed a three-year strategy to seize new opportunities through GODIVA’s omnichannel structure. She succeeds Annie Young-Scrivner, who left GODIVA in November to become CEO of Wella Company.

Afridi, a GODIVA board member as well as GODIVA owner Yildiz Holding's chief strategy and growth officer, said she will work with her teams to continue making the company’s chocolates and chocolate-inspired products accessible by extending its channels, which include online and food, drum and mass (FDM), to reach new consumers and engage with loyal consumers in new ways.  

Afridi’s 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,” said GODIVA Chairman Murat Ulker. “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.”

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,” Afridi said. “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.” 

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 such as Accenture and Arthur Andersen & Co.   

Afridi earned her MBA in Germany and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance in Istanbul.