Posted in: news

20th September 2018

Business Leaders, Isabelle Kocher and Hamdi Ulukaya, Join The B Team

September 20, 2018, New York: The B Team has announced today that Isabelle Kocher, CEO of Engie, and Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chobani, will join its collective of global leaders working to inspire bold dialogue and brave business action for a fairer, greener and more human economy.

Both Ms. Kocher and Mr. Ulukaya’s leadership has helped to cement their companies as leading examples of the impact of a principled approach to business. Ms. Kocher joined Engie in 2002 and stepped into the role of CEO in 2016 as the first, and today’s only, French female CAC 40 chief executive. Under her transformative tenure, the company has established itself as a forward-thinking leader in an industry in transition.

Ms. Kocher’s purpose-driven and climate-focused leadership has helped Engie to begin withdrawing its coal assets and reinvesting in renewable energy, establish an internal carbon price and advocate for one globally, increase access to clean energy technology and become the world’s largest issuer of green bonds.

“We’re entering a new era for business. It’s no longer a choice to operate for the benefit of the environment and society. There is no winning company on a losing planet,” Ms. Kocher said, “I am honored to be joining The B Team at this critical turning point for the private sector. I look forward to facing the challenges ahead with an inspiring and ambitious group of peers.”

Since launching Chobani in 2007 with the mission and vision of making better food more accessible, Mr. Ulukaya’s always made helping people and having a positive impact on communities a priority for the company. From the beginning, Chobani has donated a portion of its profits to charitable causes, many of them in Idaho and New York where its products are made.

Ulukaya has also implemented a groundbreaking profit-sharing program for the company’s 2,000 employees, and he took the rare step in U.S. manufacturing of instituting a six week, fully paid parental leave program for all of the company’s mothers and fathers.

Mr. Ulukaya has also been steadfastly committed to preserving an open and inclusive environment at Chobani, where 30 percent of its manufacturing workforce are immigrants and refugees. A devoted humanitarian, Ulukaya signed the Giving Pledge and founded the Tent Partnership for Refugees to mobilize the private sector to improve the lives & livelihoods of the more than 25 million refugees around the globe.

“Our society and our planet face enormous challenges that governments and NGOs simply can’t solve on their own,” Mr. Ulukaya said. “There is a huge reservoir of untapped potential in the private sector to help fix these problems, and now more than ever, we need companies to step up and do their part. It’s not a choice, it’s a responsibility. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the B Team to create a sense of urgency among all business leaders to not just talk—but to act.”

Ms. Kocher and Mr. Ulukaya join The B Team following recent changes to its executive leadership, with the organization welcoming Halla Tómasdóttir as CEO and appointing Paul Polman as Chair and Sharan Burrow as Vice-Chair. Their appointments, along with Ms. Kocher and Mr. Ulukaya joining as Leaders, strengthens its work to catalyze business as a force for good.

“Building a principled and purpose-driven private sector cannot be done without collective courage and humility. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Ms. Kocher and Mr. Ulukaya to The B Team to drive this quest forward,” Ms. Tómasdóttir said, “Their bold leadership has shown the world just how impactful brave business action can be. With them on board, we will only push ambition further and build momentum faster in shifting mindsets and practice toward a more sustainable and equal future.”


To arrange an interview or for more information, please contact Tyler Zang at (New York)

About The B Team

The B Team is a catalyst for bold dialogue inspiring collective courage and brave business action toward a fairer, greener and more human economy. The B Team’s global collective of business and civil society leaders are working together to build a principled and purpose-driven private sector and demonstrate that, with courageous leadership, business becomes a force for good.

The B Team was co-founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, and includes Leaders Oliver Bäte, Marc Benioff, Sharan Burrow, Kathy Calvin, Bob Collymore, David Crane, Christiana Figueres, Mats Granryd, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Yolanda Kakabadse, Isabelle Kocher, Guilherme Leal, Andrew Liveris, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, François-Henri Pinault, Paul Polman, Mary Robinson, Ratan Tata, Hamdi Ulukaya, Zhang Yue and Professor Muhammad Yunus.