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5 facts you may not know about late IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad

5 facts you may not know about late IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad

A Swedish flag flies at half mast outside an Ikea store in Stockholm, Sweden, today, after the death of store founder Ingvar Kamprad.

Although Kamprad had stepped away from Ikea's board in recent years, serving since 1988 as a senior adviser, he was widely regarded as the company's leading architect and a still-powerful force behind the scenes.

Billionaire IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who built a global business selling cheap furniture, died on Saturday at his home in Småland, Sweden at the age of 91, according to a statement released on the company's website.

Ingvar Kamprad was born in 1926 in Småland, Sweden, and founded Ikea already as a teenager, in 1943. It was the start of what became IKEA, now with 403 stores across the globe, 190,000 employees and $47 billion in annual sales.

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad has been found dead.

Despite his success in building the IKEA business, Kamprad was a controversial figure. He was ranked No. 8 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which estimated his worth at $58.7 billion. The E and A stand for the farm he lived on (Elmtaryd) and Swedish village where he grew up (Agunnaryd).

Kamprad supposedly came up with the idea of self-assembly furniture in 1956 after watching one of his employees take the legs off a chair - or a table in some accounts - so it would fit into a customer's vehicle.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tweeted her condolences, saying that Mr Kamprad had "put Sweden on the world map". Kamprad said he stopped attending its meetings in 1948, later attributing his involvement to the "folly of youth", and calling it "the greatest mistake of my life".

Late past year, the European Commission launched an investigation into Ikea's tax dealings in the Netherlands.

Around that time, Kamprad's management style also came under criticism. A great entrepreneur who helped bring Sweden into the world. IKEA is owned by foundation that Kamprad created, whose statutes require profits to be reinvested in the company or donated to charity.

Ingvar Kamprad will be remembered for driving an old Volvo, recycling tea bags and taking little packets of salt and pepper home from restaurant visits. Swedish tax filings from 2013 established his wealth at about $113 million, according to the Associated Press. "He really left an indelible imprint on retail and on consumers' lives".


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