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Ikea North America gets new president

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA — Pernille Spiers-Lopez has been appointed as president of IKEA North America, replacing Jan Kjellman.

Pernille is currently human resources manager of IKEA North America and will assume her new position June 1, reporting to Anders Dahlvig, president, IKEA International. She will also be a member of the IKEA International Management Board.

"Pernille has a solid background in the home furnishings industry both in and outside of IKEA," said Dahlvig. "Pernille's greatest asset to our operation in North America is that she has experience touching so many different areas of our business, from sales to retail management to human resources. She is a model representative of our IKEA culture and values."

Spiers-Lopez joined IKEA in 1990 as sales manager of marketplace for the West Coast, and then worked as a store manager of the IKEA store in Pittsburgh. She has been in her current position since 1997, where she was instrumental in developing and implementing progressive policies to benefit employees. She also has worked at other retailers such as the Door Store, a 24-furniture store chain.

"I'm excited about the new challenge that lays ahead for me," Spiers-Lopez said. "Jan's leadership and his accomplishments for the IKEA brand serve as wonderful inspiration for me. I'm looking forward to working together with IKEA co-workers in the U.S. and Canada to reach new heights for our brand."

After serving as president for six years, Kjellman is returning to Sweden with his family and will continue working on special projects for IKEA.

During his tenure, IKEA North America has expanded tremendously, including expanding into three new U.S. markets — Chicago, San Francisco (in Emeryville) and San Diego. The division also experienced a sales increase of 216 percent and in FY 2000 sales exceeded $1 billion.

"Working for the past six years with IKEA co-workers in the U.S. and Canada has been an incredible experience for me," Kjellman said. "Together, we have been able to successfully establish IKEA as a brand that is truly part of the consumers' everyday lives. I have every confidence that Pernille will achieve even higher benchmarks for IKEA and our ongoing mission to make it easy and affordable for people to live better and attain the home of their dreams."

IKEA currently has 15 stores in the U.S. and seven in Canada. They plan to open another location in the Washington D.C. area this October, which will replace a smaller store in that region.

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