Actually this is old news form earlier this month, but I just heard it 2 days ago 😛
“Reuter”:http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=4744821 — Ingvar Kamprad, the Swede who founded furniture retail chain IKEA, has overtaken Microsoft’s Bill Gates as the world’s richest man, Swedish TV news reported on Sunday.
Citing next week’s edition of the Swedish business weekly Veckans Affarer, public service SVT2 television said Kamprad, 77, has a personal fortune of 400 billion crowns ($53 billion).
Gates’s fortune is put at $47 billion, according to the latest list of the world’s rich in U.S. Forbes magazine, SVT2 said.
Kamprad, known for frugal habits such as flying economy class, lives in Switzerland and no longer takes part in the daily running of IKEA, but has kept ownership of the company with more than 180 stores in over 30 countries in the family.
SVT2 said the dollar’s slide against other currencies is the main reason why Kamprad has now overtaken Gates.
Bio from “switzerland.isyours.com”:http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/celebrities/bios/75.html — The charismatic “founder”:http://www.ikea.ch/about_ikea/history/history_currentrole.asp of “IKEA”:http://www.ikea.com/ , the multinational furniture company that currently generates over 15 billion in sales, has always had a keen sense of business. At the age of five, he was already selling matches to his friends. In 1950, Ingvar Kamprad developed the concept of foldable furniture, the secret to IKEA’s success. The Swedish businessman patiently built his empire of inexpensive contemporary furniture that now extends to the far corners of the world.
The Kamprad family has lived in Switzerland since 1976 at Epalinges, in Upper Lausanne. Kamprad’s three sons learned French, a language already spoken by Ingvar’s wife, Margaretha. In keeping with his style, the founder of IKEA lives in a discreet home and drives an old Volvo. His wife presides over the Lausanne parish of the Swedish Church, where they get together with the many other Swedes who have settled in Switzerland. When not on business trips or gazing over the shores of Lake Geneva, the Kamprad family lead a happy life in Upper Lausanne.
Living in Switzerland allows this businessman to travel quickly throughout Europe and to enjoy an exceptional standard of living in the Lake Geneva Arc. And yet the head of IKEA still lives life at the same old pace. In reality, he is thrifty and waits until the end of the village market to take advantage of the best prices and travels by train in second class. The billionaire feels so safe in Switzerland that he rides public transportation to travel incognito throughout Switzerland.