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Ikea Chief Ohlsson to Be Succeeded by Swedish Head Next Year

Ikea, the world’s largest home-furnishings retailer, said Chief Executive Officer Mikael Ohlsson will step down next year after a career spanning more than 30 years and be succeeded by the head of its Swedish unit.

Ohlsson, who became CEO in 2009, will be replaced as president and CEO on Sept. 1, 2013, the company said today in a e-mailed statement. His replacement will be 41-year-old Peter Agnefjall, who has held a number of management positions at the retailer since 1995.

Agnefjall will face the challenge of continuing Ikea’s expansion outside of Europe, where the company gets about 80 percent of sales. The retailer said in June it would consider entering India after policy clarity, and open stores faster in China. Today, Ikea said its business direction, covering the period through 2020, will remain in place.

“I have had the privilege to follow Peter since he first joined Ikea and we have collaborated closely throughout the years,” Ohlsson said in the statement. “Peter has a strong commitment to Ikea and our vision and is a good leader.”

Ohlsson, 55, plans to use his past experience “at board capacity in various businesses and organizations and spend more time with his family,” Ikea said in the statement.

Sales at Ikea have risen every year since 2001, and climbed 6.9 percent to 25.2 billion euros ($33.1 billion) in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011.

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