Swedish furniture company Ikea has named Linus Karlsson its chief creative officer, a newly-created role that will cover both product development and marketing and communications. Karlsson is a seasoned advertising executive.
The hiring is somewhat surprising, but may prove to be an innovative way to bring together advertising and development, which are typically siloed within a business, with an emphasis on creativity.
“Creativity sits in the DNA of IKEA, but we constantly need to boost it and feed our imagination to assure that we capture people's needs and dreams in our future range, in new and diverse ways of communicating and in how we share our offer with the many people. The Chief Creative Officer will play a key role in this,” Erika Intiso, marketing and communication manager at IKEA of Sweden A, said in a statement.
Karlsson has worked with Ikea in a consulting role on and off since 2012, according to the company, including serving as guest speaker, creative leader and content partner.
Ikea is well known for its affordable, durable and well-designed furnishings, and the brand has partnered with respected designers since its founding in 1943. The company hopes the new role will inject more creativity into its marketing while the industry is still being disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, Ikea made a major shift in its marketing when it discontinued its catalog last year, following more than 70 years of publishing and a decline in readership.
“We want to strengthen how we cater for creativity in our daily work with design, product development, marketing and communication,” Fredrika Inger, Range & Product Development Manager at IKEA of Sweden AB, said in a statement. “How we take care of creative ideas and turn them into a reality of IKEA products and solutions that can meet the many people. As Chief Creative Officer, Linus Karlsson will be an accelerator, bouncing board and source of inspiration and experience. And we´re really happy to have him in this role.