Lego’s billionaire owner recently announced his 37-year-old son will succeed him as vice chairman of the iconic company, which brought in a record-breaking $1.3 billion in profit last year.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, 68, is the richest Dane in the world, according to a Forbes report that lists his net worth as $13.7 billion. Thomas, the great-grandson of Lego’s founder, will also be taking his father’s place as chairman of the Lego Foundation, which owns 24% of the company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the young Kristiansen’s role is to continue expanding the company while also promoting Lego toys as an educational tool. He said during an interview on Monday:
“My father always said that we are more than just a toy. We truly believe that the physical building, construction play is actually developing children in many, many ways into becoming better-equipped for whatever future may come.”
In 2004, his father stepped down as Lego’s chief executive and allowed the first nonfamily member to take his place. The senior Kristiansen, who has three children, bought his sister’s interest in the company in 2007, which increased his ownership in the family-owned business.
Though Kristiansen has conceded his vice chairman role to his son, he remains chairman of Kirkbi A/S, the family holding company. Kirkbi, which owns the other 75% of Lego, is owned by Kristiansen, his son and two daughters.