The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, has died, aged 91

The life and times of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad

Founder of Swedish furniture firm Ikea Ingvar Kamprad dead aged 91

The Swedish entrepreneur who founded Ikea as a teenager, turning the company into the biggest furniture retailer in the world, has died aged 91.

Kamprad "passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones" at his home in the southern Swedish region of Smaland on Saturday "following a brief illness", Ikea said in a statement.

"Ingmar Kamprad died in calm at home" in sourn Sweden, announced on Twitter Ikea, an empire that now employs 190,000 people in various parts of world and generates a turnover of 36.3 billion euros. "To never give up, always try to become better and lead by example", Torbjorn Loof, CEO and president of Inter Ikea Group, said in a statement published on the company's website.

Kamprad's lightbulb moment arrived in the 1950s when he saw an employee removing the legs from a table to help a customers transport it.

But it became popular for its flatpack furniture designs, and Mr Kamprad eventually became of of Europe's richest men.

Mr Kamprad was renowned for his devotion to frugality, reportedly driving an old Volvo and travelling by economy class.

He told the channel that he built his business on a "local ethos".

It seems like half the shops we remember from when we were kids are now gone.

People took to social media on Sunday to pay their respects to the "greatest Swedish entrepreneur to have ever lived".

The European Commission announced previous year that it had launched an investigation into the ways Ikea allegedly used a Dutch subsidiary to slash its tax bill on revenue from megastores around the world. Comparing the company's management culture to that of the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, he described a network of informers that kept Kamprad apprised of the latest office gossip and accused Ikea's executives of racism.

The regulator said that Dutch tax rulings in 2006 and 2011 appear to have reduced Ikea's tax payments in the country.

In more recent years, Mr Kamprad had faced scrutiny over his past links to Nazi groups. In 1942, a year before starting Ikea, at the age of 16, Kamprad was raising money and recruiting members for Nysvenska Rörelsen, or New Swedish Movement, a pro-fascist organization. Kamprad was also known for his ties to the Swedish Nazi party during his early days.

Latest News