Lego marks 75 year milestone

Worldwide workforce celebrates birthday landmark with special activities.
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The Lego Group has kicked off the celebrations to mark its 75 year anniversary.

Beginning back in 1932, when Ole Kirk Christiansen began to make wooden toys for a living, the company name emerged in 1934. The name Lego is an abbreviation of the Danish words 'Leg Godt', meaning Play Well.

Towards the end of 1946, Christiansen bought his first plastic injection-moulding machine and began experimenting with the new material. In 1950, his son, Godtfred, became managing director of the company, and it was in 1958 under his leadership that the Lego brick was developed and patented.

When a fire destroyed the wooden-product warehouse in 1960, Lego started to focus entirely on the product idea of the Lego System. This has already been successful expansion in a number of countries.

In 1979, Godtfred's son Kjeld, became president and CEO. He raised the company to a new level, adding stories, themes and role play. The first play theme was the Lego Space series. At the same time, the firm grew considerably through an acceleration of the international expansion and development of the Lego brand.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Lego brick was acclaimed the Toy of the Century - first by Fortune Magazine and later by the British Association of Toy Retailers.

After 25 years as president of the company, in 2004 Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen appointed Jorgen Vig Knudstorp as the current CEO. Kjeld remains the owner and deputy chairman of the board of directors.

"I feel an immense sense of pleasure and pride when I meet children and adults who enjoy our products," said Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. "Throughout its 75-year history, the Lego Group has been through difficult and good times - fortunately much more good than difficult.

"This has been possible only because we have been blessed with - and still have - an incredibly committed team of employees. They have helped to keep alive the fundamental principles on which my grandfather set up the company. So I'm confident that we can look forward to the next 75 years."

Jorgen Vig Knudstorp added: "Our history means a lot to us. This is perhaps best reflected in our motto, which was also one of our founder's favourite principles: 'Only the best is good enough'.

"The Lego brick and the Lego system will continue in future to be the foundation on which we base our business because we offer children unique opportunities to grow and develop through play."



LEGO upbeat despite losses

LEGO believes it has turned the corner despite net losses doubling to 1.9 billion Danish Kroner (£170m) after special items and the firm has finally decided to sell its theme park business.

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