- Chobani Inc. named Tarkan Gürkan — who took the financial helm as an interim in June — as their permanent CFO, the yogurt maker announced on Thursday.
- Gürkan stepped into the role of interim CFO for the New Berlin, N.Y.-based company after former CFO Jody Macedonio stepped down the same month. Macedonio had joined Chobani in 2020 to help prepare for its initial public offering (IPO), originally planned for November 2021. The firm has since suffered hiccups in its road to go public.
- Macedonio departed the company in June as one among a series of departures for the company, including its president and chief operating officer, chief strategy officer, chief people officer and chief corporate affairs officer, who all left in March of this year.
The appointment of Gürkan to the permanent chief finance seat happens in the backdrop of the company’s most recent withdrawal of its plans for an initial public offering, according to a Sep. 2 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The company originally planned to go public in Nov. 2021 with a targeted valuation of $7 billion to $10 billion under the proposed ticker symbol "CHO," but delayed plans due to murky macroeconomic conditions, according to Seeking Alpha.
When IPO plans were put on hold in March, then-President and COO Peter McGuinness was among the departing executives, followed by the company’s chief people officer and chief strategy officer. McGuinness has since gone on to take the role of CEO at Impossible Foods, known for making popular American foods out of plant based ingredients.
These executive shifts were then followed several months later by Macedonio as she stepped down from the CFO position in June.
Before Chobani, Gürkan served as chief investment officer at Shepard Associated LLC, the family office of Chobani founder and Chief Executive Hamdi Ulukaya, according to reporting from the WSJ. Prior to that, he was senior vice president at Pepsi Co., where he was the executor of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and held leadership positions at food companies Campbells Soup and Nabisco, Inc., per the company announcement.
A spokesperson for Chobani told the WSJ that Gürkan’s appointment was to help the company with their IPO and said that the Sep. 2 withdrawal was not indicative of a plan to abandon the option altogether; however, a definitive date was not provided.
In the second quarter of 2022, IPOs were down 73% from the year-earlier period, according to an EY report.
In recent years, the yogurt brand expanded its product line to include batch-made oat-based drinks and cultured oat blends, as well as dairy-based creamers.
But soaring ingredient input costs in a less than favorable macroeconomic environment has food industry CFOs battling with raising prices and retooling contracts, per previous reporting from CFO Dive.