The Swedish founder of IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer whose low-cost, customer-assembled bookshelves, cabinets and other household items are commonplace on all continents, is resigning and turning over control of the global giant to his son.

Ingvar Kamprad, the 87-year-old who founded the company in southern Sweden in 1943, has resigned his chairmanship of privately held Inter IKEA Systems BV. His son Mathias Kamprad, 43, has become chairman of the company, which operates about 300 stores worldwide.

"I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter IKEA group. By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years,” Ingvar Kamprad said Wednesday in a statement.

"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,” he added.

IKEA is doing well. Last year it booked a 9 percent jump in sales and a five-fold surge in profit.