Ex-Wife Accuses Chobani Founder of Stealing Yogurt Recipe From Rival

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The competitive nature of rival yogurt companies can get rather nasty in their advertisements, but that pales in comparison to the courtroom feud between the CEO of Chobani Yogurt and his ex-wife.

It didn't take long for Chobani yogurt to surpass Fage as the No. 1 seller of Greek yogurt in the United States. But now allegations of corporate espionage have entered the arena. The Huffington Post reports that former wife of Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya is accusing her ex of stealing the recipe for Fage. Ulukaya allegedly bragged about how he "traveled to Europe and bribed this employee with 30,000 Euros," according to a court filing obtained by Huffington Post.

Ulukaya's former wife, Ayse Giray, made the claims as part of a lawsuit alleging that Ulukaya has cheated her out of her share of the company.

Ulukaya's legal team responded that his ex-wife is lying.

"Because [Giray] cannot win on the merits of her claims, she has fabricated any number of fantastical and completely baseless allegations," Ulukaya’s legal team countered, according to The New York Daily News.

Chobani was founded in 2005 and now commands 39 percent of the Greek yogurt market, compared to Fage's 8.5 percent, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

And a bit of the nasty business has splashed up on Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. In a nationally broadcast report this morning on ABC's Good Morning America, Chobani CEO Ulukaya was prominently shown in a photograph with Otter.

Since its December 2012 opening of a 950,000-square-foot facility in southeast Twin Falls, Chobani Yogurt has quickly become one of the Magic Valley's largest employers.


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