• 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)

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
Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours now'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours now'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

989
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN