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Ingvar Feodor KAMPRAD
Stichting INGKA Foundation
30 Mar 1926
Estimated Net Worth
At least $39.3 billion
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland Sweden Epalinges, Vaud, Switzerland
Ljungby, Kronoberg, Sweden
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Swedish native and furnishing industry magnate. Since the age of five, Kamprad started selling old matches, pens, Christmas cards, fish and other items in the neighborhood. Founded furniture manufacturer IKEA, later on named the IKEA Group, at 17 with gift money from his father for school achievements, and in 1957, invented the "flat pack" and opened his first store a year later, gradually developed the IKEA Group into a global furniture retailer. Passed management and ownership rights "to secure eternal life for IKEA" to a complex network of firms and foundations, including the Stichting INGKA Foundation and the Interogo Foundation. Retired from Executive positions at the IKEA Group in 1986. Serves as Senior Advisor of the Stichting INGKA Foundation founded in 1982 and owns the IKEA Group, whose parent company is INGKA Holding. Set up the Ikano Group in 1988, with sons Peter, Mathias and Jonas. He also has a daughter, Annika, from his first marriage. The Interogo Foundation was founded in 1989, and owns the Inter IKEA Group. Kamprad announced in June 2013 that he stepped down from IKEA's board, as his son assumes the Chairman position, however he seems to be the beneficial Owner. He currently serves as an informal Senior Advisor to the board of the IKEA Group. Kamprad has lived in Switzerland since 1976; and in 2013, announced his decision to move back to Sweden.
Reportedly suffers from dyslexia.
Received the Lucia Trade Award of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York in 2004.
Reportedly all his employees call him by his first name.
Reportedly IKEA was among the first prominent companies to include in their commercials transgender peoples and gay couples.
Received the 2007 Global Economy Prize from the Kiel, Germany-based Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
He reportedly started his career at age of five selling matches in the neighborhood he had bought in quantity at a discount in Stockholm. As a teenager, he also peddled carrot seeds, fish, pens, Christmas decoration and other items by bicycle. He reportedly set up IKEA at age 17 with a small amount of money received from his father for doing well at school.
Grandparents immigrated to Sweden from Sudetenland, now in the Czech Republic, but his grandfather committed suicide shortly afterwards. Kamprad said his hard-working grandmother who raised three sons on her own was an important role model for him.
Reportedly admitted he had suffered periods of alcoholism.
Appears to control the IKEA Group and he disputes he is the beneficial Owner.
He said he wanted to secure "eternal life" for the IKEA, that is why he irrevocably sold the majority of the firm to foundations he set up in Liechtenstein and in The Netherlands. Reportedly said "I did not want to take the IKEA public and lose control. My solution was to set up what was to become the current franchise structure with the two separate companies: Inter IKEA and IKEA Group owned by two separate foundations. I decided to give IKEA to those independent foundations. By doing so I relinquished the rights to ownership and future earnings but retained some influence on the future direction of the companies."
In 2014, Kamprad reportedly decided to move back to Sweden, which he left for Switzerland.
The name IKEA is a combination of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, his first and last name, the family farm he was born on (now spelled Almtaryd), and the nearest village. The name INGKA is also a combination of his first and last name.
By January 2015, IKEA set up 313 stores in 44 countries; all throughout, Kamprad never borrowed money, never issued a stock and remained in full control of the company until he passed it over to his foundations.
According to a statement by IKEA, Kamprad underwent "routine" heart surgery in Switzerland in 2011.
He has reportedly involved himself in every detail of IKEA's growth, down to the recipe for the Swedish meatballs served at the restaurant at each outlet.
Reportedly published "A Furniture Dealer's Testament" also known as the "IKEA Bible", which includes maxims such as "wasting resources is a mortal sin at Ikea". Also reported to value time; was reported as saying "Time is your most important asset. Split your life into 10-minute units and sacrifice as few as possible to meaningless activity."
Received honorary doctorates from the Swedish University of Lund, Vaxjo University and University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala.
Reported to be frugal; flies in economy class, stays in cheap hotels and drives a Volvo 240 GL he has owned for two decades. At the age of 80, he was still flying around the world to visit new IKEA stores, encouraging colleagues to write on both sides of a piece of paper. In an interview Kamprad quoted as saying, "I don't think I'm wearing anything that wasn't bought at a flea market. It means that I want to set a good example. He also said he prefers cheap haircuts and said "normally, I try to get my haircut when I'm in a developing country. Last time it was in Vietnam."
The only luxury he reportedly allows himself is a new shirt and tie or a helping of caviar from time to time. Reportedly he bought a Porsche, which sold after a short period.
From age 16 to 25, Kamprad reportedly was a friend and follower of Per Engdahl, the leader of the pro-Nazi Neo-Swedish movement. Engdahl attended Kamprad's first wedding in 1950; Kamprad broke with the movement only in 1951. When this was revealed in 1994, Kamprad apologized publicly; attributed his early sympathies to Nazism to his upbringing: his grandmother, a Sudeten German native of the current Czech Republic believed strongly in Adolf Hitler and welcomed the 1938 annexation of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany. Kamprad defended himself by adding he had not fully understood what the Neo-Swedish movement was about.
Interests, Passion, Hobbies
Outdoors - Fishing
Reportedly enjoys fishing but has little time for it. On eating fish, he reportedly said, "Nothing compares with a freshly caught and boiled white fish, served with horseradish, maybe parsley and hard-boiled eggs."
Design - Furniture
He dealt with furniture practically during his entire business career.
Struggles with alcoholism, and tries to abstain drinking for short periods, three times per year.
Published a few notable works. He first detailed the IKEA concept of frugality and enthusiasm in a manifesto entitled "A Testament of a Furniture Dealer" written in 1976, which has since been considered the fundamental ideology of the IKEA furniture retail concept. Additionally, he also worked with Swedish journalist Bertil Torekull on the book "Leading by Design: The IKEA Story."
The Stichting IKEA Foundation supports design.
Outdoors - Canoeing/ Kayaking/ Rafting
Reportedly likes rowing.
Reportedly likes gardening and cultivating roses.
Business - Retail
He started his own retail business at age 17 and was striving for perfection in retail while building the global IKEA empire. A "relentless" pursuer of efficiency, he said "wasting resources is a mortal sin at IKEA."
Outdoors - Walking
Reportedly enjoys walking in the woods.
According to certain media sources, enjoys the alpine environment, and this is the reason he moved to Switzerland.
Generous philanthropist gives primarily to refugee, child rights, immunization, environment and wildlife, education and medical research causes. Lifetime giving exceeds $300 million. Recipients include the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization as well as universities and research centers. Reportedly also donated to Jewish organizations as an atonement for his early Nazi sympathies.
Kamprad's former wife; the couple reportedly adopted daughter Annika, divorced in 1961.
Jonas' wife, the couple has two children.
Peter Arras Feodor Kamprad
Serves as Chairman of the Ikano Group.
Hans Jonas Ingvar Kamprad
Sits on the board of Ikano Group and of Stichting INGKA Foundation with Kamprad.
Niklas Achim Mathias Kamprad
Sits on the Board of Directors of the Ikano Group; also serves as Chairman of the Inter IKEA Group. Kamprad's youngest son. Reportedly is interested in wines.
Kamprad reportedly adopted daughter Annika during his first marriage with Kerstin Wadling.
Peter's wife. The couple has two children.
Kamprad's second wife Margaretha lived with him for 50 years; the couple had three sons. She sat on the boards of the Stichting INGKA and the Stichting IKEA Foundations; deceased after a brief illness in 2011.
Does not appear to publicly support any political party or philosophy.