The Danish toy producer Lego has announced that the head of the family-owned group, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, will abdicate the company crown to his son, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen.
Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, 37, will represent the fourth generation of the Kirk Kristiansen family to run the company. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen has been at the helm of the company since 1979.
“The family has for some years been making careful preparations for the future,” said Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.
“I am very pleased to say that we are now ready to take certain important steps toward the smooth generational handover that will continue to maintain active family ownership of the Lego Group – not just for the next generation but also for generations to come.”
More than business
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, who kicked off his own Lego career aged just two years when he appeared on some of the company’s first toy boxes, will remain chairman of the board for Kirkbi, which owns 75 percent of the shares in Lego.
Thomas Kirk Kristiansen made his debut in Lego in 2004, initially joining the board as an observer, before becoming a fully-fledged board member in 2007.
“The LEGO Group has always been more than just a company to me,” said Thomas Kirk Kristiansen.
“We have a very clear purpose with our family enterprises, which is about the importance of play to the development and well-being of children. The passion for play and learning has always been a driving force in my family, and it is important for me to carry on this heritage.”
Lego was founded back in 1932 in Billund, Jutland by Ole Kirk Kristiansen and is today one of the most recognised brands in the world.