Ingvar Kamprad dead: Ikea founder passes away aged 91 after short illness

Founder of Swedish furniture firm Ikea Ingvar Kamprad dead aged 91

The name Ikea is an abbreviation of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd, after his own name as well as the family farm where he was born and the nearby village.

In June 2013, Kamprad retired from all responsibilities in IKEA and its sister concerns. "His heritage is always with us and we will continue to constantly search for new and better ways - to find solutions that no one else has thought of and to do great things for the many people, together", says Lars Thorsén, CEO of Ikano Group. He pioneered flat-pack furniture that would fit snugly inside its box, saving space and money. "Ingvar Kamprad will be missed and fondly remembered".

Ikea was founded when Kamprad was only 17 years old, starting out with selling replicas of his uncle's kitchen table and making it one of the most valuable privately held businesses in the world today.

But Kamprad's success has been marked by controversy.




Ikea now has 411 stores worldwide in 49 countries and 194,000 employees. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds and later ball-point pens and pencils. In a letter to IKEA employees, Kamprad admitted that he once had sympathies for the far-right leader and called it "a part of my life which I bitterly regret".

The European Commission announced past year that it launched an investigation into IKEA's tax deals in the Netherlands. It was the test run for Kamprad's motto: "If it works in Switzerland, it'll work anywhere". Instead, he said, Kamprad drove a Porsche.

At the time a spokesman for Mr Kamprad said he had long admitted flirting with fascism, but that there were now "no Nazi-sympathising thoughts in Ingvar's head whatsoever".

Kamprad was once estimated to be the world's fourth-richest person, with a net worth of up to $28 billion according to Forbes magazine. IKEA is owned by foundation that Kamprad created, whose statutes require profits to be reinvested in the company or donated to charity.

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