Feb 5, 2018
Ingvar Kamprad, founder and chief of Ikea and eighth richest person in the world, died January 27. The media told the success story of the rise of this Swedish merchant who became rich by promoting extremely rationalized methods for producing and selling inexpensive, easily assembled furniture. Some news media also reported that Kamprad had been a Nazi, not just during World War II, but even afterwards.
In the 1980s, his company Ikea used forced labor in East German prisons. The company also used child labor. In France, Ikea spied on its workers, especially its union workers.
For each transgression, first Kamprad, followed by his company, apologized profusely. Nauseatingly – literally – Ikea even pleaded sorry for having sold stale food in order to save money, for Kamprad having claimed he lived in Switzerland instead of Sweden to avoid paying taxes, and for concealing Ikea's budget by using shell companies ... the list goes on and on.
This man, saluted by the King of Sweden, by wealthy people all over the world, and by all those who sing their praises, was really not a “very nice guy.” The trail of apologies paints a different picture.