Ikea Israel Taps Finance Chief as New CEO

The new chief executive, Shuky Koblenz, will lead the company after it opens its third store in the country.

Ikea Israel CFO Shuky Koblenz will replace Shlomi Gabay as chief executive after the furniture giant opens its third store in Israel next year, the company said this week.

Gabay has already announced his intention to retire after serving 14 years at the company, 10 as CEO. Koblenz, 44, has worked for Ikea Israel for five years.

Before that, he managed the finance department at cellular provider Pelephone. Koblenz was also a key player in developing Ikea’s store in Rishon Letzion and rebuilding the branch in Netanya after it burned down.

“The choice of Koblenz reflects the DNA of Ikea, which supports promoting people within the organization,” said Gabay.

Ikea Israel’s NIS 800 million in sales last year are projected to reach NIS 1.2 billion in 2014 with the new store in Kiryat Ata near Haifa.

Ikea Israel’s controlling shareholder Matthew Bronfman congratulated Koblenz. “In the past five years Shuky has shown great devotion to the organization and proved that he is highly talented,” Bronfman said in a statement. “I am confident that he is right man to lead Ikea Israel to the next stage of its growth.”

Moti Milrod