Share |

Ikea's founder lets go of last official role in the business

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish flat-pack furniture chain Ikea, has relinquished his last formal roles in the business he founded in 1943.
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad is stepping down from all his formal roles in the business
©Press Association

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish flat-pack furniture chain Ikea, has relinquished his last formal roles in the business he founded in 1943.

Kamprad, 88, left his roles on the boards of the two foundations that control Ikea's assets in late December last year, but the announcement was only made recently.

Ikea is structured to minimise its tax burden, and is split between the Netherlands-based Stichting Ingka Foundation, which owns the retail side of the business, and the Liechtenstein-based Interogo Foundation, which owns the Ikea brand and intellectual property via Inter Ikea Group.

He stepped down from another board role at Inter Ikea in June 2013, and while he no longer has a formal post, according to the Financial Times, Kamprad will remain an informal senior adviser to the company.

Kamprad has not appointed one clear family successor, but his three sons all have roles in the business – his youngest son Mathias, 45, is chairman of Inter Ikea, his second son Jonas, 48, is on the board of Ikea Group, while his eldest son Peter, 50, is chairman of Ikano, a subsidiary which offers customer reward scheme services to retailers.

Non-family chief executive Peter Agnefjall currently heads the Ikea Group, but business analysts have said the company's ownership is now so fragmented that the lack of an overall leader will lead to succession problems in the future.

Famous for his thrift and his hatred of Sweden's wealth taxes, Kamprad only moved back to his home country last month after 40 years of self-imposed tax exile in Switzerland.

Although he is worth $4.1 billion (€3 billion) according to Forbes, he drives a 15-year-old Volvo, flies economy class and prefers Ikea's cafes to posh restaurants because he can get a cheap meal there.

He founded Ikea as a mail-order business selling stationary, Christmas decorations and other lightweight, mass-produced goods, before moving into furniture in 1948. 

Click here >>
Close