Profile: Helena Helmersson – the most powerful woman in retail

H&M chief executive Helena Helmersson

As H&M posted its full-year results today, it was revealed that veteran chair Stefan Persson is stepping down after 20 years in the role to be succeeded by his son Karl-Johan Persson.

Karl-Johan’s move up left the chief executive position available and it has been filled by Helena Helmersson – the first woman to lead the fast-fashion powerhouse.

Helmersson has spent almost her whole career working her way up the ranks at H&M, which generated sales last year of more than SEK230bn (£18bn). Her appointment makes Helmersson one of the most powerful women in global retail.

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