Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, has passed away. For decades the Swedish businessman lived in Switzerland, where he benefited from lump-sum taxation.
Surrounded by loved ones at home in Sweden, Kamprad died on Saturday after a short illness, reported IKEA on Sunday. He was one of the richest people in the world, and his family remains the wealthiest in Switzerland – as reported by Swiss business magazine Bilanz in November.
Bilanz estimates the Kamprad family fortune at CHF48-49 billion ($51-52 billion). After Ingvar Kamprad recently returned to Sweden, his sons Peter, Jonas and Mathias continued to run the business from Switzerland.
Born in 1926 in Småland, southern Sweden, Kamprad founded IKEA when he was 17.
“Ingvar Kamprad was a great entrepreneur of the typical southern Swedish kind – hardworking and stubborn, with a lot of warmth and a playful twinkle in his eye. He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that most things remain to be done,” according to a statement on the company websiteexternal link.
The first Ikea store outside of Scandinavia opened in the suburbs of Zurich in 1973. It was the test run for Kamprad’s motto: “If it works in Switzerland, it’ll work anywhere.”