by Fu Yiming
STOCKHOLM, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Swedish furniture chain IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at his home in the southern Swedish region of Smaland at the age of 91, the furnishing giant announced Sunday.
On Twitter and Facebook, IKEA wrote that the founder of the furniture store was asleep into his home in Smaland. Also, IKEA's press service confirmed Kamprad's death.
The company said that Kamprad has "passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones" at his home in the southern Swedish region of Smaland on Saturday "following a brief illness."
Kamprad built a global business empire out of a small-scale mail order business, and formed the company's name from his own initials, the first letters of his family farm, Elmtaryd, and the parish of Agunnaryd where it is located. In the heart of Smaland, his hometown is a forested province whose people are known in Sweden for thrift and ingenuity.
His work ethic, frugality and down-to-earth style remain at the core of its corporate identity today. His missteps in life, including early flirtations with Nazism, never rubbed off on IKEA.
In 1973, Kamprad fled Sweden's higher tax structure for Denmark before seeking even lower taxes in Switzerland. Later in 2010, Kamprad gradually made way at the helm of the company for his three sons, and finally returned to Sweden in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Consortium of Investigative Journalists cited leaked tax files from Luxembourg when it identified IKEA as one of the giant multinationals fingered for corporate tax avoidance by shuffling money to tax havens.
Last year, the European Commission announced that it had launched an investigation into IKEA's tax deals in the Netherlands, while the group insisted that it complies fully with national and international tax regulations.
Born in 1926, Kamprad founded IKEA at the age of 17. Ingvar would be very missed and remembered by his family and by IKEA employees all over the world, the company said.