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Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Feodor Kamprad, born 30 March 1926, is a Swedish business magnate. He is the founder of IKEA, a Swedish retail company specialising in furniture.


Kamprad was born in Pjätteryd (now part of Älmhult Municipality), Sweden. He was raised on a farm called Elmtaryd (presently standardized Älmtaryd) near the small village of Agunnaryd in Ljungby Municipality in the province of Småland. His paternal grandfather was from Germany, but moved the family to Sweden.


Kamprad began to develop a business as a young boy, selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle. He found that he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm, sell them individually at a low price, and still make a good profit. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, and later ballpoint pens and pencils. When Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a cash reward for succeeding in his studies.


IKEA was founded in 1943 at Kamprad's uncle Ernst's kitchen table. In 1948, Kamprad diversified his portfolio, adding furniture. His business was mostly mail-order. The acronym IKEA is made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd.


In June 2013, Kamprad resigned from the board of Inter IKEA Holding SA and his youngest son Mathias Kamprad replaced Per Ludvigsson as the chairman of the holding company. Following his decision to step down, the then-87-year-old founder explained, ”I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter IKEA Group. By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years.” Mathias and his two older brothers, who also have leadership roles at IKEA, work on the corporation's overall vision and long-term strategy.

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