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IKEA founder steps down

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
IKEA founder steps down
(IKEA Facebook)

Swedish retail giant IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad is stepping down from the company's board after 70 years, handing the reins over to his son Mathias.

The company released a statement announcing his decision and installing Mathias Kamprad as chairman, replacing Per Ludvigsson, who held the position after Ingvar Kamprad stepped down in 1986.

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The senior Kamprad started his company as a teen in 1943, starting by selling matches to neighbors and growing his company to the largest home furnishings retailer in the world.

"I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter IKEA Group," Ingvar Kamprad said in a statement released by IKEA Wednesday. "By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years."

The founder promised that, although he is leaving the board, he will stay engaged in the direction of IKEA.

"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 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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Ikea has made Ingvar Kamprad, 87, the world's fifth-richest man, with an estimated worth of $52.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire's index.

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