Who owns LEGO Group? LEGO Group is a family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in 1932 and has since been passed down through the family. Currently, the majority owner of LEGO is Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of the founder, who serves as the deputy chairman of the board. The Kristiansen family still holds a significant ownership stake and control over the company through a holding company named Kirkbi A/S, which is responsible for managing their investments in LEGO and other ventures.
Lego is a Danish company founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a master carpenter and joiner. The company’s name is derived from the Danish words “leg godt,” which mean “play well.” Initially, the company produced wooden toys but later switched to plastic after WWII. In 1949, Lego began producing the Automatic Binding Bricks, which are the ancestors of the current Lego bricks. While the basic design of the bricks has remained unchanged since their introduction, their quality, range, and the complexity of sets have increased significantly.
The ownership of Lego has been passed down through the Christiansen family. After Ole Kirk Christiansen’s death in 1958, his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen took over the company, and during his tenure, the Lego brick design was improved to include tubes for better clutch power.
Godtfred’s leadership also led to the introduction of the Lego System of Play and the launch of the first Lego theme, Lego Town Plan, in 1955. In 1979, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Godtfred’s son, became president and CEO of the Lego Group. Under Kjeld’s leadership, the company expanded significantly, introducing various new product lines and themes, such as Lego Technic, Lego Mindstorms, and licensed themes like Star Wars and Harry Potter.
Kjeld was also responsible for the establishment of the first Legoland theme park in Billund, Denmark, in 1968. In 2004, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen stepped down as CEO, although he remained the majority shareholder and active in the company as a member of the board. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, an external executive, became the first non-family member to lead the company as CEO.
Under his leadership, the Lego Group refocused on their core products and experienced resurgence in growth and profitability. In 2017, Bali Padda, another external executive, briefly replaced Knudstorp as CEO, serving for only a year. Niels B. Christiansen then stepped in as CEO in October 2017 and currently holds the position.
While the majority ownership of the Lego Group remains in the hands of the founding family, specifically Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and his children, the daily operations and management of the company are carried out by a team of non-family executives. Today, the Lego Group is one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, known for its iconic brick-based sets, diverse themes, and the multiple Legoland theme parks around the world.
Who was the original founder?
LEGO was originally founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter, in 1932. Born on April 7, 1891, in Filskov, Denmark, Ole began his career as a carpenter and woodworker, establishing his wooden toy-making workshop in Billund, Denmark.
In the face of the Great Depression, Ole Kirk Christiansen observed that his traditional carpentry business was struggling and decided to shift his focus to creating affordable wooden toys – a move that would eventually lead to the creation of LEGO. The name “LEGO” is derived from the Danish words “leg godt,” which mean “play well.”The company eventually transitioned from wooden toys to the iconic plastic bricks we know today.
In 1947, LEGO started producing plastic toys, and in 1958, they patented the LEGO brick with its unique interlocking system. This marked the beginning of the company’s evolution into the globally recognized brand it is today.
Ole Kirk Christiansen passed away in 1958. However, his legacy continues, with LEGO becoming a family-owned business, currently led by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Ole Kirk Christiansen’s grandson.
FAQ Section: Who Owns Lego
1. Who is the owner of the LEGO Group?
The LEGO Group is owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family, with major ownership held by the Kirkbi A/S investment company and Lego A/S.
2. When was Lego founded?
Lego was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish carpenter.
3. What is the meaning of the name ‘LEGO’?
The name ‘LEGO’ is derived from the Danish words ‘leg godt,’ which means ‘play well.’
4. What was the first LEGO product?
The first LEGO product was a wooden toy duck created by founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen.
5. When did LEGO start making plastic bricks?
LEGO started manufacturing its iconic plastic interlocking bricks in 1949.
6. Where is the LEGO Group headquartered?
LEGO’s global headquarters is located in Billund, Denmark.
7. Does LEGO own any theme parks?
Yes, LEGO is the owner and operator of various Legoland theme parks around the world, including those in Denmark, Germany, the UK, and the USA.
8. What makes LEGO bricks so special?
LEGO bricks are known for their quality, durability, and versatility, enabling endless possibilities for creativity and imagination.
9. How many LEGO sets have been released?
Since its inception, the LEGO Group has released thousands of different sets in various themes, including city, space, and licensed themes like Star Wars and Harry Potter.
10. Are there any environmentally-friendly initiatives by LEGO?
LEGO is committed to achieving sustainability goals, such as using sustainable materials in their products and working towards a zero-waste production process. They have also introduced a line of plant-based bricks made from sugarcane.
Sources for More Information
- LEGO Official Website: About Us
- Forbes: The $3.5 Billion LEGO Empire
- Encyclopedia Britannica: LEGO
- Business Insider: How LEGO Became The Apple of Toys