DELFT, Netherlands, June 5 (UPI) -- Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of furniture giant IKEA Group, said he was leaving the board at the company he started in Sweden 70 years ago.
Kamprad, 87, one of the world's richest men, said in a statement it was "a good time for me to leave the board of IKEA Group. By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years."
The Local.se reported Wednesday Mathias Kamprad, the youngest of Ingvar Kamprad's three sons, would take over IKEA Holding, as its chairman, Per Ludvigsson, is stepping down.
IKEA Holding is the holding company of Inter IKEA Group.
Ingvar Kamprad's other two sons, Peter and Jonas also serve on IKEA company boards, The New York Times reported.
Ingvar Kamprad, who stepped down as chief executive officer in 1986, said he would remain actively involved with the company.
"My passion and engagement for the many people, the IKEA concept, simplicity and cost consciousness is as strong as ever," 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. Our journey has just started," he said.
Inter IKEA Group Chief Executive Officer Soren Hansen said IKEA "has stood up relatively well," despite the economic recession in Europe.
"We have in some markets become more relevant, meaning that in some markets we are gaining market share," Hansen said.
IKEA is building three retail centers in China at a cost of $1.3 billion. Its revenue in 2012 grew 7 percent to $3.4 billion, the Times said.