The founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, has stepped down from the board of Inter Ikea Holding, the holding company of the iconic Swedish flatpack furniture chain. The chairman of the board, Per Ludvigsson, has also stepped down, aged 70, to be replaced by Kamprad’s son Mathias.
In a statement issued by Ikea, the changes in the board are described as a generational shift that has been prepared for over several years.
Kamprad, who turned 87 in March, said in a statement his retirement from the board did not mean he would stop working.
“My passion and engagement for the many people, the Ikea concept, simplicity and cost consciousness is as strong as ever. I will continue to share ideas and views. And I will continue to spend time in the stores and in the factories to work with people and help achieve constant improvement. Our journey has just started,” he said in a statement.
Mathias said the new board covered the needs of all Ikea's divisions and he felt honoured to take over as chairman.
“Our main task will always be to ensure a long life for the Ikea concept by keeping the needs of the many people in mind. As this will require investments in both good and bad times, the group strives to be financially independent,” he said.
Kamprad started Ikea as a mail-order business in 1943, selling pencils, stationary and other merchandise from his hometown of Smaland. Five years later the business began selling furniture and developed the ready-to-assemble products it has now become famous for.
Today, Ikea has more than 150,000 employees working in about 340 stores around the world. In 2012 the company’s sales revenue stood at €27.6 billion.