Ikea’s founder and highly influential chairman Ingvar Kamprad is stepping down from the board, as the control of the company shifts to his sons.

The 87-year-old who founded IKEA in southern Sweden 70 years ago will step down from the board of Inter Ikea Holding, which owns the Ikea brand and intellectual property.

Kamprad’s youngest son Mathias will replace him in the role.

In a statement, Ingvar Kamprad said: “I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter Ikea group. We are taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years.”

Kamprad has three sons - Peter, Jonas and Mathias – who all have roles in the three main parts of the business. Kamprad put in place a complex structure to protect the company from disputes among his heirs or a takeover.

Peter chairs Ikano, the company that manages the family fortune and runs several Ikea stores. Jonas is on the board of Ingka, the parent company to Ikea Group.

Inter Ikea is run separately and as the owner of the brand all Ikea stores pay a royalty of 3% of their revenues to it.

Kamprad stepped down as chief executive in 1986 and earlier this year he spoke out and criticised the fast pace of store expansion.

Kamprad said: “This [resignation] does, however, not mean that I will stop working. My passion and engagement for the many people, the Ikea concept, simplicity and cost consciousness is as strong as ever.

“I will continue to share ideas and views. And I will continue to spend time in the stores and in the factories to work with people and help achieve constant improvement. Our journey has just started.”

Ikea’s founder still wields power through his board positions at Stichting Ingka Foundation and Interogo Foundation, which own Ikea Group and Inter Ikea respectively and are based in the Netherlands and Liechtenstein, largely for tax reasons.