The former chief executive of LEGO, Kjeld Kirk Kirstiansen has confirmed he is to step down from his position on the Danish toymaker’s board of directors.
The longtime chief executive said today that he would quit LEGO’s board next month, leaving his son Thomas as deputy chairman and the representative of the fourth generation of the family that started the business almost 90 years ago.
“For several years, we have been preparing carefully for how we wish to continue to maintain active family ownership across generations,” said Kristiansen. “Now, the time has come for the next step.”
Kristiansen may be stepping down from LEGO’s board, but he will remain for the time being as chairman of the family investment company, Kirkbi.
Preparations for the generational shift have been underway for the past 15 years, when Thomas first joined LEGO’s board as an observer, before becoming director in 2007. In 2016 he took over as deputy chair and head of the LEGO Foundation charity.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is the grandson of LEGO’s founder Ole and was chief executive from 1979 until 2004, but stepped down when the toymaker found itself on the brink of collapse.
The intergenerational shift was devised as a means of avoiding the troubles with missing audience shifts in many family companies.