Thursday, March 20, 2014
Ikea Founder Moves Back To Sweden After 40 Years
Via The Local: Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, has moved back home to Sweden after four decades abroad. The elderly Swede plans to spend his days with family, but also to keep working. A little known fact about Ikea and Kamprad's hometown is that the word Ikea is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, the later two words referring to the farm on which Kamprad was raised and the name of his hometown in southern Sweden. Kamprad, 87, left Sweden in 1973 for Denmark. Three years later, he moved to Switzerland where he has lived ever since. Now the brains behind the furniture mammoth has come home, reported the Smålandsposten newspaper, a move he has planned since at least mid-last year when he announced his intentions and assured that they were not tax-related. "Ingvar wants to be closer to his family and friends in Älmhult", the family's spokesman Per Heggenes told the paper on Thursday. "Above all, he has a special interest in Ikea's product development, work that is carried out in Älmhult". Heggenes added that since Kamprad's wife died in 2011, there was less and less reason for him to stay in Switzerland. Heart and back problems for the 87-year-old have prevented an earlier move, Heggenes told the paper. Retirement is nowhere in sight for Kamprad, with the Swede planning to carry on as long as there is work to do. "He'll always do it. I'm convinced about that", Heggenes told the paper. Kamprad was long ranked among the richest people in the world, with Forbes reporting that he was the 11th richest in 2010. This year, he ranked 367th with an estimated fortune of $4.1 billion. Kamprad announced in June that he was stepping down as chairman and handing over the reins to his son Matthias.