Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad died on Saturday at the age of 91, the Swedish furniture chain said.
In a statement on its website, the company said Kamprad, “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, peacefully passed away at his home in Smaland”.
Kamprad founded Ikea in 1943, when he was 17 years old. In 1956, the company introduced ready-to-assemble furniture after which its popularity soared, Reuters reported. Kamprad got the idea when he watched an employee take off the legs of a table to fit it into a customer’s car, the report said.
Today, Ikea has 412 stores in 49 countries. The company is expected to make 50 billion euros (Rs 3 lakh crore) in annual revenues, Reuters reported. Kamprad was one of the world’s richest people, with an estimated wealth of 610 billion Swedish kronor (Rs 4 lakh crore) in 2016, The Guardian quoted Swedish media reports as saying.
Kamprad was born on March 30, 1926, in southern Sweden. He started off selling matches to neighbours when he was five and soon started selling seeds, Christmas tree decorations, pencils and ball-point pens. In the late 1990s, Kamprad faced questions about his past involvement with Nazi groups, about which he admitted in a book in 1999.
Kamprad has not directly been involved in the management of Ikea since 1988, but was an advisor, The Guardian reported.
“He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that most things remain to be done,” the company statement said.