Mithat Özbek graduated in 1988 from the economics department of the Hacettepe University in Ankara. He then attended the University of Indiana and received his MBA in 2000 from the joint program of the Istanbul Technical University and Exeter University. He started his professional career at Sogut ceramics in the export department of the company. He became a Deputy Director General at Puccinelli, a company operating in the food and beverage industry and then the managing director of the UK based paper and packaging company David S. Smith in Turkey. He worked for 10 years for David S. Smith in this capacity. Following the acquisition of the local branch of the company by Sabanci/International Paper owned Olmuksa, he joined the senior management of Olmuksa. He is a member of several NGOs. He is the managing partner of Istanbul Ekonomi.