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Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

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Jørgen Vig Knudstorp
Born (1968-11-21) 21 November 1968 (age 55)
Fredericia, Denmark
Alma materAarhus University (BEcon, MS, PhD)
Occupation(s)Businessman, business executive, consultant
Known forExecutive chairman and former CEO of Lego
TitlePresident of The Lego Group
TermOctober 2004 - January 2017
PredecessorKjeld Kirk Kristiansen
SuccessorBali Padda
SpouseVanessa Knudstorp

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp (born 21 November 1968) is a Danish businessman who is the current executive chairman of The Lego Group. He succeeded Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen as president and CEO of the company in October 2004, holding the position for over 12 years until January 2017, when he stepped down to become executive chairman.

He was the second person from outside the family of Ole Kirk Christiansen to lead the company (the first one being Vagn Holck Andersen between 1973 and 1979), and is widely credited with turning it around from failure.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Knudstorp was born in 1968, grew up in Fredericia, and graduated from Fredericia Gymnasium before attending Aarhus University.[3]

After obtaining his undergraduate degree in economics, Knudstorp began an academic career as a researcher at his alma mater as well as obtaining a master's degree (1995) and a PhD (1998) in Economics from Aarhus University.[3] He stayed in academia, but worked as a business consultant from 1998 to 2000.[3]

Lego career[edit]

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp joined the LEGO Group in 2001 after working as a McKinsey & Company consultant[4] and university researcher at Aarhus University.[3] In 2004, he was selected as the company's next leader.

Under Knudstorp's tenure, LEGO's yearly income went from a loss to drawing a notable profit.[5][6] In 2016, the company experienced a 600% increase in turnover, from 6.3 billion to 37.9 billion.[7] In December 2016, it was announced that Knudstorp would step down as CEO of LEGO, and instead take the position of chairman of the group.[8] He was succeeded by Bali Padda.[9]

Positions outside Lego[edit]

In January 2017, Starbucks nominated Knudstorp to its board of directors.[10]


  1. ^ O’Connell, Andrew. "Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp on leading through survival and growth". Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  2. ^ McGregor, Jena. "Brick by brick: The man who rebuilt the house of Lego shares his leadership secrets". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Aarhus University Distinguished Alumnus". Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  4. ^ Feloni, Richard (10 February 2014). "How LEGO Came Back From The Brink Of Bankruptcy". businessinsider.com. Business Insider Inc. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Nelson D. (8 June 2006). "One brick at a time". fortune.com. FORTUNE Magazine.
  6. ^ Agence France-Presse (4 March 2010). "Toy Maker LEGO Sees Profits Soar in 2009, More to Come in 2010". Industryweek.com. IndustryWeek. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  7. ^ Tools, JP (10 August 2017). "LEGO Hovedtal Kilde Legos årsrapporter". jyllands-posten.dk. Jyllands-Posten. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  8. ^ Pedersen, Signe Ferslev (6 December 2016). "Knudstorp stopping as CEO of LEGO". Business.dk (in Danish). Berlingske Media. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  9. ^ O'Marah, Kevin (7 December 2016). "Supply Chain To CEO: Bali Padda Takes The Helm At Lego". Forbes. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  10. ^ "Starbucks Corporation - Press Releases - Financial Releases". investor.starbucks.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2023.

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