He was born in year 1971 as the son of Özdemir Sabancı, who was murdered by a terrorist attack in 1996 in the building of headquarters of Sabancı Holding in İstanbul, Turkey. After finishing the high school at Tarsus American College in Tarsus, province Mersin in 1989, he earned a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration from Boston University, Massachusetts, USA and attained his master’s degree at Cornell University, New York. He married in 2002 his schoolmate at Cornell University, Aslıhan Koruyan, a beauty contestant and the Turkish delegate to Miss World in 1991.
After completion of his education, Demir Sabancı went to Japan, where he worked a long time in Mitsui and Toyota Motor Corporation. Returned home, he became general manager of the electronics retail chain TeknoSA, which was newly founded by his family. Later, he was appointed board member of the Sabancı Holding, and became finally head of the retail group in 2002.
Demir Sabancı resigned in August 2004 from his post at the Sabancı Holding following a dissension on allocation of positions in the board of directors with Güler Sabancı, who was elected chairperson after the death of Sakıp Sabancı. Instead, his sister Serra Sabancı was admitted to the board. Within one year, Demir completely broke his ties with family controlled business, selling the 6.2% share in his possession worth of US$318 million at international funds markets in 2005.
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