Credit: H&M Group
After more than 20 years as Chairman of H&M Group, Stefan Persson has decided to step down from his position at the company. Current CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, will take over as Chairman and Helena Helmersson will succeed him as CEO.
H&M has struggled to contain competition from cheaper rivals and online platforms in recent years. The stock has gained just 10% during Karl-Johan Persson's tenure as CEO, while rival Inditex, the owner of Zara, has surged almost 400% during the same the period. Karl-Johan Persson took over as CEO from his father in 2009 and is the grandson of the company's founder Erling Persson. The Persson family retains outsize control over the company.
Helena Helmersson will become the first female chief executive officer of the fast-fashion pioneer. She started at H&M in 1997 as an economist at H&M’s buying department, and thereafter held various roles within Buying and Production. Helena was a sustainability manager for five years, and after that, a production manager based in Hong Kong. For just over a year, she has been COO (Chief Operating Officer) with responsibility for expansion, logistics, production, IT, Advanced analytics and AI and Insights and Analytics.