• Sweden edition
 
Ikea founder 'cried like a baby' over Russian bribery scandal

Ikea founder 'cried like a baby' over Russian bribery scandal

Published: 19 Feb 2010 13:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Feb 2010 13:46 GMT+01:00

"I sat in my old armchair and cried. I wept like a child because I was so sad," he said in an interview with the Expressen newspaper.

"I am heartbroken about what happened," he said. "I am very, very sorry."

The company said on Saturday its "representatives in Russia agreed upon bribes being paid, related to power supply to Ikea-owned MEGA shopping centres in Saint Petersburg."

"Two top managers have left their positions and Ikea with immediate effect," the group added.

Kamprad is now 83-years-old and set up the Ikea flat-pack furniture firm in 1943 when a teenager.

He said he was informed last Friday that Per Kaufmann, whom he has known for 20 years, and Stefan Gross, had been fired for giving the go-ahead to bribes.

Kaufmann was the head of IKEA in Russia and Gross was IKEA's director of real estate in the country.

"I don't want to say anything before I know what is behind this," Kamprad said, adding he had spoken to Kaufmann and "he is sorry, not for his own sake, but for Ikea's sake, that things happened as they did," he said.

Kamprad, who lives in tax exile in Switzerland, said he hoped the bribery affair would not hurt the group's presence in the Russian market.

"I think most Russians understand our situation," he said.

Ikea owns 12 shopping centres in Russia, all of which are home to an Ikea store and around 150 other tenants.

Ikea is an unlisted, family-owned company and traditionally does not release regular earnings reports.

At the end of last year, Kamprad was the richest man in his adopted Switzerland with a fortune valued at some €23 billion ($31 billion).

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:55 February 20, 2010 by morchad
€23 billion and he just got rid of his old 240 for "a more economical" Skoda. You'd know he was from Småland alright :-)
01:08 February 21, 2010 by GLO
What a Man..... Got any more in Sweden?
02:08 February 22, 2010 by Da Goat
Poor Bugger
03:06 February 22, 2010 by Davey-jo
I hope your IRS are reading all this.
11:28 February 22, 2010 by Audrian
It is a worrisom situation that this grand oldman, otherwise remarkable person, keeps the reign of power in IKEA to this date. It is a situation similar to dictators who centralize and stay on power till they are knowcked out of power and the country is left to leak its wounds from the fallout of a civil war for many years.

It seems none have opportunities to learn from experience except see the grand old man fire his close associties and cry.
11:37 February 22, 2010 by Jimk
Unfortunately Russia is well known for such practise... No bribes=No business
11:54 February 22, 2010 by Audrian
Is not time for this grand old man to leave his post in grace.
13:13 February 22, 2010 by karex
I wonder if it is at all possible these days to stay clear of such dealings if one must do business in Russia?
20:49 February 22, 2010 by x_x
karex I guess it is possible to be clean if the person have nothing to hide, it doesn't matter where you do business. If moral code allows to bribe then no matter where the business is performed. Russia is not exception, the question is what kind of people are involved in these scandals, the same kind you will find everywhere.
10:40 February 24, 2010 by calebian22
Tax exile in Switzerland? They make it sound illegal. Good for him.
Today's headlines
Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

Sweden Floods
More rain expected as floods hit day four
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

More rain expected as floods hit day four

UPDATED: Sweden's floods showed no signs of abating over Thursday night, with highways closed, emergency teams working overtime, and more rain on the way. READ  

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans
An Ikea city centre store in Hamburg. Photo: TT

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has opened its first store in the former Yugoslavia, near Croatia's capital Zagreb. The move marks the company's first step in an expansion to the Balkans market. READ  

Elections 2014
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'

With national elections around the corner, political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren says there's a hive of activity behind the scenes, and that the right-wing nationalist party could end up being the key player. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se