Ikea’s 87-year-old founder is slowly letting go of the reins at his company as his youngest son steps into a major board position within the Swedish furniture giant.
Ingvar Kamprad, who launched the business 70 years ago in a small Swedish village, is stepping down from the board of Inter Ikea Group, a key entity within Ikea’s convoluted corporate structure.
His son Mathias, meanwhile, will become the board’s chairman.
The Kamprad family also controls Interogo Foundation, which owns Inter Ikea Group’s parent company.
“I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter Ikea Group,” Ingvar Kamprad said in a statement. “By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years.”
Kamprad, who stepped down from his executive roles at Ikea in 1986, initially launched the company as a mail-order business selling pencils, postcards and other merchandise.
The name “Ikea” derives from Kamprad’s initials and the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the farm and parish where he grew up and began selling matches to neighbors at age 5.
But he isn’t taking his final bow just yet.
“This does however not mean that I will stop working,” he said. “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.”
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