Mar 27, 2023

Who is Behind Ikea: The History and People Behind the Iconic Furniture Brand

Business Model Innovation
by Stefan Lemmerer

Who is Behind Ikea: The History and People Behind the Iconic Furniture Brand

Ikea is a multinational furniture retailer known for its affordable and stylish products. Founded in Sweden in 1943, the company has grown to become the world's largest furniture retailer, with over 400 stores in 52 countries. While many people are familiar with the brand, few may know who actually owns Ikea. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the ownership structure of Ikea and the people behind the company's success.

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The Kamprad Family

Ikea was founded by Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish entrepreneur who passed away in 2018. Kamprad came from a humble background and started the company as a teenager. Today, Ikea is still owned by the Kamprad family, which includes Kamprad's three sons, Peter, Jonas, and Mathias. The family holds their ownership through a complex web of holding companies based in Liechtenstein, which provides them with significant tax advantages.

The Kamprad family has been involved in the running of Ikea since its inception. However, Ingvar Kamprad was known for his hands-on approach to the business, and it remains to be seen how involved his sons will be in the future. So far, they have maintained a low profile, with Mathias Kamprad taking on a more prominent role in recent years. Nevertheless, the Kamprad family remains the driving force behind the company's ownership and success.

Ingvar Kamprad

The Stichting Ingka Foundation

In addition to the Kamprad family's ownership, a Dutch charitable foundation called the Stichting Ingka Foundation also has a significant stake in Ikea. The foundation was established by Kamprad in 1982 and holds a controlling interest in Ingka Holding, which is the company that operates most of the Ikea stores worldwide. The foundation's primary purpose is to promote "innovative projects in the field of architectural and interior design".

The Stichting Ingka Foundation is unique in that it is a charitable organization that also holds a controlling interest in a major corporation. The foundation's structure allows it to have a say in important decisions at Ikea, while also promoting its charitable goals. Over the years, the foundation has funded a wide range of projects, including research into sustainable energy and design innovation.

Interogo Foundation

Another charitable foundation that owns a significant stake in Ikea is the Interogo Foundation, which was also founded by Kamprad in 1989. The foundation holds the ownership of Inter Ikea Group, the company that owns the Ikea concept and trademark. The Interogo Foundation is based in Liechtenstein and is dedicated to supporting research, education, and other charitable causes.

The Interogo Foundation is responsible for protecting and promoting the Ikea brand, which is one of the most recognizable in the world. It also oversees the development of new Ikea products and concepts. While the foundation's ownership stake is significant, it does not have a controlling interest in the company, and its role is mainly advisory.

© Inter IKEA Systems BV - WikiCorporates

Ikea's Governance Structure

Despite the complex ownership structure of Ikea, the company has a well-defined governance system in place. The board of directors oversees the company's strategic direction and appoints the CEO, while the Kamprad family and the foundations have a say in important decisions through their ownership stakes. Ikea is also known for its unique corporate culture, which emphasizes a focus on sustainability and democratic principles.

Ikea's governance structure is designed to balance the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, and the broader community. The company's commitment to sustainability is reflected in its operations, from the use of renewable energy to the development of products made from recycled materials. Ikea also has a strong culture of openness and inclusivity, which is reflected in

The Future of Ikea's Ownership

With the passing of Ingvar Kamprad, there has been some speculation about the future of Ikea's ownership structure. However, the Kamprad family has made it clear that they plan to continue to own and control the company for the foreseeable future. As Ikea continues to expand its global footprint and adapt to changing consumer trends, it will be interesting to see how the ownership structure evolves over time.


In summary, Ikea is primarily owned by the Kamprad family and two charitable foundations, the Stichting Ingka Foundation and the Interogo Foundation. Despite the complex ownership structure, the company has a well-defined governance system in place and a unique corporate culture that sets it apart from other retailers. As Ikea continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how the ownership structure adapts to new challenges and opportunities.

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