Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen has announced that he will step down from the LEGO Group board as part of a smooth handover to the fourth generation of the business; a business started by the grandfather of Kjeld, Mr. Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932. His son, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen will now represent the Kirk Kristiansen family as the fourth generation’s most active owner.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen steps down from the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S
Billund, Denmark, 26 March 2019 – As a natural next step in the smooth handover to the next generation between the third and fourth generation of the Kirk Kristiansen family, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is stepping down from the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S. This will take place at the company’s next annual general meeting, to be held in April 2019. Through the family’s holding and investment company, KIRKBI A/S, the Kirk Kristiansen family owns 75% of LEGO A/S. The remaining 25% is owned by the LEGO Foundation.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen continues as Chairman of the Board of Directors of KIRKBI A/S, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the LEGO Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ole Kirk’s Foundation.
The Kirk Kristiansen family has carefully prepared the smooth handover to the next generation since 2004, when Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, as the most active owner in the fourth generation of the family, joined the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S – first as an observer, and later as a member, as from 2007.
In 2016, the family took the first formal steps in the handover to the next generation, when Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and Thomas Kirk Kristiansen swapped roles in the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S, with Thomas Kirk Kristiansen becoming Deputy Chairman and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen becoming an ordinary member of the Board. The same applied to the LEGO Foundation Board of Directors, with Thomas Kirk Kristiansen becoming Chairman, and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen becoming Deputy Chairman.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen says: “For several years we have been preparing carefully for how we wish to continue to maintain active family ownership across generations. Now, the time has come for the next step, whereby I will step down from the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S. My son Thomas and I have worked closely together in LEGO A/S’ Board of Directors since 2007, and I am very pleased to see how he has developed, and the responsibility he is assuming. I know that he is ready to continue the work of developing LEGO A/S, in close cooperation with the executive management, Chairman of the Board of Directors Jørgen Vig Knudstorp and the rest of the Board of Directors.”
Thomas Kirk Kristiansen says: “I feel very privileged because I have had the opportunity to work closely with my father in LEGO A/S’ Board of Directors for more than ten years, and because we have had – and still have – time to prepare for the future together.”
“Active and engaged ownership of LEGO A/S and the LEGO® brand is very important for our family, because we believe that the LEGO® Idea is more relevant now than ever before, and because we have an obligation to make a positive difference for children all over the world, via Learning-through-Play. I am extremely pleased with and proud of the trust my father is showing me and my sisters in terms of continuing the LEGO ownership, our family’s values, and our wish to reach many more children.”