Ikea founder: sons as CEO ‘not an option’

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish furniture chain Ikea, has revealed it is unlikely that one of his sons will take over as CEO when the incumbent Anders Dahlvig leaves.

Ikea founder: sons as CEO 'not an option'

Ingvar Kamprad confirmed in an interview with local newspaper Smålandsposten that there will be soon be changes made at the helm of the multinational furniture firm that has made him into one of the world’s richest men. Kamprad confirmed that current CEO Anders Dahlvig, will soon bring his nine-year term to an end.

“He has said that the job is very tough and that he can maybe carry on one or two more years,” Ingvar Kamprad said to Smålandposten.

Kamprad also expressed a belief that none of his sons Peter, Jonas nor Mathias was likely to succeed Dahlvig.

“As I see it, it is not an option. I do not think that any of them will do it. It would only happen if one of them had a radical re-think,” said Kamprad to Smålandsposten.

At a family meeting in March all three of Ingvar Kamprad’s sons ruled out taking over.

The issue of succession at the head of Ikea has been an openly debated question in the Swedish press in recent years. Ingvar Kamprad has seldom shed any light on the issue.

The Ikea founder made clear in the interview that he understands his sons’ position and told of the sacrifices that he felt he made in the role as Ikea CEO, a post he held until 1986.

“I have said to the youngsters that if I was in their shoes I wouldn’t take a CEO job. I know that it is a very tough job,” said Kamprad to Smålandsposten.

In recent weeks the media rumour mill has turned to former Tele 2 CEO Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, who sits on the board of Ikea holding company Inka.

Jarnheimer is reported by Dagens Industri to be a good friend of the Ikea founder and a former apprentice at the furniture giant to boot.


Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.