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宜家创始人去世:宣扬节俭的超级富豪

更新时间:2018-1-29 19:22:48 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of Ikea and Creator of a Global Empire, Dies at 91
宜家创始人去世:宣扬节俭的超级富豪

Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish entrepreneur who hid his fascist past and became one of the world’s richest men by turning simply-designed, low-cost furniture into the global Ikea empire, died Saturday at his home in Smaland, Sweden. He was 91.

掩盖了自己的法西斯过去,通过把设计简单、成本低廉的家具变成跨国商业帝国宜家(Ikea)而成为全球顶级富豪之一的瑞典企业家英格瓦·坎普拉德,周六在瑞典斯莫兰的家中去世,享年91岁。

His death was confirmed by the company in a statement on Sunday.

宜家周日发表声明,证实了他去世的消息。

He grew up on a farm in the lake-dotted province of Smaland, in southern Sweden, a dyslexic boy who milked cows and found it hard to concentrate in school. His family was poor, and he earned money selling matches and pencils in villages. At 17, he registered his mail-order business in household goods, calling it Ikea, formed of his initials and those of his farm, Elmtaryd, and village, Agunnaryd.

坎普拉德在瑞典南部湖泊密布的斯莫兰省的一个农场长大。是一个有诵读障碍的孩子,会挤牛奶,但是读书的时候很难集中注意力。家境贫寒的他靠在村子里卖火柴和铅笔赚钱。17岁时,他注册了自己的家庭用品邮购企业,起名叫宜家。这个名字由他的姓名、他所在的农场Elmtaryd和村庄Agunnaryd的首字母组成。

During the next seven decades, Kamprad built Ikea into the world’s largest furniture retailer — an archipelago of more than 350 stores in 29 countries across Europe, North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, with sales of 38.3 billion euros ($47.6 billion), more than 930 million store visits and 210 million recipients of catalogs in 32 languages.

在接下来的70年里,坎普拉德把宜家打造成了全世界最大的家具零售商,在欧洲、北美、加勒比地区、中东和亚洲29个国家拥有超过350家门店,销售额383亿欧元(约合3000亿元人民币),到店人次超过9.3亿,2.1亿人收到过宜家用32种语言制作的商品目录。

It made him wealthy beyond imagining. Bloomberg Billionaires Index listed him as the world’s eighth-richest person, worth $58.7 billion. But his driving ambition led to alcoholism, years of fascination with fascism and, trying to lead his employees by example, into a life of almost monastic frugalities.

这让他积聚了超乎想象的财富。彭博全球亿万富豪指数(Bloomberg Billionaire Index)将他列为身家587亿美元的全球第八大富豪。然而远大的抱负促使他酗酒,多年迷恋法西斯,并且——为了给员工树立榜样——过着一种近乎僧侣般的朴素生活。

All his life, Kamprad practiced thrift and diligence, and he portrayed those traits as the basis for Ikea’s success. He lived in Switzerland to avoid Sweden’s high taxes, drove an old Volvo, flew only economy class, stayed in budget hotels, ate cheap meals, shopped for bargains and insisted that his home was modest, that he had no real fortune and that Ikea was held by a charitable trust.

坎普拉德一生践行节俭和勤奋,并形容这些特质是宜家成功的基础。他为了避开瑞典的高税收而住在瑞士、开一辆老旧的沃尔沃、只坐经济舱、住经济酒店、吃便宜的饭菜、买廉价的东西,并坚称他的家很简朴,他没有真正的财产,并且宜家是由一家慈善信托基金持有的。

It was not exactly so, as reporters found. His home was a villa overlooking Lake Geneva, and he had an estate in Sweden and vineyards in Provence. He drove a Porsche as well as the Volvo. His cut-rate flights, hotels and meals were taken in part as an exemplar to his executives, who were expected to follow suit, to regard employment by Ikea as a life’s commitment — and to write on both sides of a piece of paper.

但记者发现,事实并非完全如此。他的家是一栋可以俯瞰日内瓦湖的别墅,他在瑞典有一处房产,在普罗旺斯有多座葡萄园。他的座驾除那辆沃尔沃外还有一辆保时捷。他的打折机票、酒店和餐饮一定程度上是为了给手下的高管作榜样。坎普拉德希望他们加以效仿,把在宜家工作视为一种人生事业——纸的两面都要用起来。

Ikea was indeed operated through a charitable trust in the Netherlands, and a complex series of holding companies, all controlled by the Kamprad family to avoid any chance that Ikea might be taken public or broken up. It also provided tax shelters and a structure for preserving the company intact after Kamprad’s death.

宜家的确是通过荷兰的一个慈善信托基金和一系列复杂的控股公司经营的。它们均由坎普拉德家族控制,以避免宜家上市或被拆分的一切可能性。坎普拉德去世后,这种做法也提供了避税途径和一种保持公司完整的结构。

He sought to control his workforce, too. In 1976, he wrote a manifesto, “The Testament of a Furniture Dealer,” with biblical-style commandments listing simplicity as a virtue and waste as a sin. Employees were expected to absorb “the Ikea spirit,” to be humble, clean-cut and courteous, not just knowledgeable about Ikea’s products but enthusiastic about its corporate ideology — principles to work and live by.

他还试图控制自己的员工。1976年,他写了一份名为《一个家具经销商的遗嘱》(The Testament of a Furniture Dealer)的宣言,列出了圣经式的戒条,称简朴是美德,浪费是罪恶。他希望员工秉承“宜家精神”,做到谦逊、整洁、有礼,不仅对宜家的产品了如指掌,还要对公司的理念,即工作和生活原则充满热情。

Kamprad was, like his designer wares, a studied Everyman. He cultivated a provincial openness: curious about everything, but a face lost in the crowd. He was bespectacled and balding, with wisps of graying hair plastered down the sides, jowls and a pointed chin. His blue denim shirts and khaki pants might have been a gardener’s, but there was hard individuality in the dark eyes and compressed lips.

坎普拉德和他的品牌产品一样,是一个刻意的普通人。他塑造了一种朴素的开放性:对一切都很好奇,但却长着一张毫无特点的脸。他戴着一副眼镜,秃顶,几绺灰白的头发紧贴在头上,尖尖的双下巴。他的蓝色牛仔衬衫和卡其裤像个园丁的打扮,但黝黑的眼睛和紧闭的嘴唇透露出了他坚定的个性。

While he lived mostly in seclusion, he traveled to Ikea stores around the world, sometimes strolling in anonymously and questioning employees as if he were a customer, and customers as if he were a solicitous employee. He spoke at Ikea board meetings and occasionally lectured at universities. He rarely gave interviews, but made no secret of his alcoholism, saying he controlled it by drying out three times a year.

虽然大部分时候隐居,但他去过世界各地的宜家门店,有时候是匿名闲逛,像顾客一样询问员工,像热心的员工一样询问顾客。他会参加宜家的董事会,偶尔也去大学做讲座。他很少接受采访,但毫不掩饰自己酗酒,称他通过一年戒酒三次来控制酗酒问题。

To millions of Ikea customers and the general public, he was largely unknown beyond the authorized version of his life and Ikea’s success — his “Leading by Design: The Ikea Story” (1999), written with Bertil Torekull. Its themes had been sounded for decades in Ikea publicity and reiterated in profiles of Kamprad and the company.

对于数百万宜家顾客和普通民众来说,除了那份授权版的坎普拉德人生和宜家的成功——贝蒂尔·托雷库尔(Bertil Torekull)所著的《设计领先——宜家的故事》(1999)之外,人们对他所知甚少。而书的主题,在宜家的宣传中已经鼓吹了数十年,坎普拉德和公司的简介也在反复重申。

Ikea had been achieved, he said, by frugality: building stores on less costly land outside cities; buying materials at a discount; minimizing sales staff to let customers shop without pressure; putting no finishes on unseen furniture surfaces, and packaging items in flat boxes to be carried away by customers for home assembly (instructions provided).

他说,宜家的成功源自节俭:在城市外较廉价的土地上开设商店,以折扣价格买入材料,精简销售人员让顾客无压力购物,不在家具看不见的表面涂饰,用扁平的盒子打包物品供顾客带走回家组装(提供说明书)。

In 1994, the Stockholm newspaper Expressen uncovered Kamprad’s name in the archives of Per Engdahl, a Swedish fascist who had recently died. They showed Kamprad had joined Engdahl’s fascist movement in 1942, and had attended meetings, raised funds and recruited members. Even after the war’s end in 1945, he remained close to the leader. In a 1950 letter to Engdahl, Kamprad said he was proud of his involvement.

1994年,斯德哥尔摩的《快报》(Expressen)在刚刚去世的法西斯分子佩尔·恩达尔(Per Engdahl)的档案中发现了坎普拉德的名字。资料显示,坎普拉德在1942年加入了恩达尔的法西斯主义运动,也曾出席会议、募集资金、招募成员。即使在1945年战争结束后,他仍和这位领导人保持着密切联系。在1950年一封写给恩达尔的信中,坎普拉德表示他为自己的参与感到自豪。

Kamprad responded humbly to the disclosures. In a message to his employees, he said his fascist activities were “a part of my life which I bitterly regret,” and “the most stupid mistake of my life.”

坎普拉德低调地回应了这一披露。在一封致员工的信中,他表示自己的法西斯活动是“生命中令我非常后悔的一部分”,也是“我生命中最愚蠢的错误”。

For Swedes, the revelations reawakened disquieting memories of World War II. While Sweden was officially neutral, German troops had traveled across the country from occupied Norway, and an unknown number of Swedes were Nazi sympathizers. After the disclosures, Jewish groups called for a boycott of Ikea, but its business suffered little, if at all, and Kamprad soon returned to themes of frugality.

对瑞典人来说,这一发现唤起了人们对二战的不安回忆。虽然瑞典采取了中立的官方立场,但德国的军队曾经从被其占领的挪威开进瑞典全国,瑞典也有不明人数的纳粹主义者。在这一真相披露后,曾有犹太团体呼吁抵制宜家,但就算有,也几乎没给宜家的业务带来什么冲击,而坎普拉德很快又回到了节俭的主旋律。

“Well, I’m known as a very thrifty person, and the stores are meant for people like me,” he told The New York Times in 1997 when asked about his contributions to the culture of Ikea. “I don’t fly first class on the airplanes, and the stores’ executives don’t either.”

“嗯,大家都知道我是一个非常节俭的人,宜家就是为了像我这样的人开的,”1997年,在《纽约时报》问及他对宜家文化有何贡献时他说。“我坐飞机不会坐头等舱,宜家的高管们也不会。”

Ingvar Feodor Kamprad was born in Pjatteryd, Sweden, on March 30, 1926. He attended local schools and studied business in Göteborg. He founded Ikea in 1943, using money his father gave him for chores to register his mail-order business.

英格瓦·菲奥多·坎普拉德(Ingvar Feodor Kamprad)1926年3月30日生于瑞典皮亚特雷德。他在当地学校上学,在哥德堡读了商科。1943年,他创立了宜家,用父亲给他的家务工钱注册了他的邮购公司。

In 1950, he married Kerstin Wadling. They had a daughter, Annika, and divorced in 1960. In 1963, he married Margaretha Sennert. They had three sons, Peter, Jonas and Mathias. His second wife died in 2011. He is survived by his daughter and sons, The Associated Press reported from Stockholm.

1950年,他与克斯婷·瓦德勒(Kerstin Wadling)结婚,育有女儿安妮卡(Annika),两人于1960年离婚。1963年,他与玛格丽塔·森纳特(Margaretha Sennert)结婚,两人有了皮特(Peter)、乔纳斯(Jonas)和马蒂亚斯(Mathias)三个儿子。他的第二任妻子于2011年去世。据美联社(The Associated Press)自斯德哥尔摩报道,他身后留有几名儿女。

In 1953, he opened a showroom in Almhult; in 1958, it became the first Ikea store. In the 1960s, Ikeas opened in Stockholm, elsewhere in Sweden, as well as Denmark and Norway. Alarmed by the company’s growing sales, its competitors organized a boycott by Ikea’s suppliers, but it backfired: Kamprad went to Poland for materials and manufacturing, which cut costs further.

1953年,他在阿姆胡特开了一个展销厅。1958年,这个展销厅成为宜家的第一家门店。60年代,宜家的商店开到了斯德哥尔摩、瑞典各地,还有丹麦、挪威。出于对宜家日益增长的销量的担忧,竞争对手们组织宜家的供货商对宜家发起了抵制,却未能如愿:坎普拉德前往波兰采购原料、进行生产,进一步削减了成本。

In the 1970s, Ikeas opened in Switzerland and Canada. In 1985, the first Ikea in the United States opened near Philadelphia. In the 1990s, Ikea became popular across Eastern Europe, and by 2000, there were Ikeas in Russia and China. The company owned the vast majority of its stores, though about 10 percent were franchise operations.

70年代,宜家在瑞士和加拿大开设了门店。1985年,美国第一家宜家在费城附近开业。90年代,宜家风靡东欧。到了2000年,俄罗斯和中国也有了宜家门店。这些商店大多数归公司所有,另有大约10%的门店属于特许经营。

In 1976, Kamprad moved to Switzerland. In 1982, he transferred control to the Dutch foundation, and in 2013 he stepped down from the board of Inter Ikea Group, a key company within the business, and named his youngest son, Mathias, as its chairman. His other two sons also held key positions. Kamprad announced his retirement in 1986, but continued traveling to his stores and making major decisions.

1976年,坎普拉德迁居瑞士。1982年,他将宜家所有权移交给了荷兰的一个基金会,并于2013年辞去了在企业核心公司——英特宜家集团(Inter Ikea Group)董事会的职务,任命小儿子马蒂亚斯(Mathias)为董事会主席。另外两个儿子也身居要职。1986年,坎普拉德宣布退休,但仍往返于他的商店之间,做一些重要决定。

“I see my task as serving the majority of people,” he told Forbes in 2000. “The question is, how do you find out what they want, how best to serve them? My answer is to stay close to ordinary people, because at heart I am one of them.”

“我认为我的任务是为大多数人服务,”他在2000年对《福布斯》(Forbes)说。“问题在于,你如何知道他们想要什么,如何最好地服务他们?我的答案是亲近普通人,因为在我心里我也是他们的一员。”

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