H&M CEO Helena Helmersson Abruptly Resigns: Here’s why

H&M CEO Helena Helmersson Resigns

Helena Helmersson, H&M’s Chief Executive Officer, has resigned, citing ‘very demanding’ times as the cause.

Taking over the role of CEO in January 2020, Helmersson said in the results release, “For many consumers, the year was marked by lower purchasing power because of high inflation and interest rates. The fourth quarter began with abnormally high temperatures in several of our key European markets. Sales rebounded beginning in mid-October as more regular fall weather returned.” 

The H&M CEO’s decision to step down was communicated through an official statement released by the company. In the statement, Helmersson expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to lead H&M and acknowledged the demanding nature of the times, hinting at the immense pressures faced by the fashion industry in recent years.

Daniel Erver has taken over as CEO of H&M, replacing Helmersson, who is departing after 26 years there. He was most recently the head of the group’s main brand, H&M. Its other brands include & Other Stories and COS.

H&M has increasingly prioritized profitability over sales quantities, aiming to achieve a 10% operating margin this year.

Following the disclosures, H&M shares fell by more than 9% in midday trading in Stockholm. The stock has been down 14% since the beginning of 2024.

H&M’s operational profit margin dipped to 7.2% in the fourth quarter of its previous year, from September to November, from 7.8% the previous quarter.

Karl-Johan Persson, H&M chairman and grandson of founder Erling Persson stated that the firm is in a solid position, with “good conditions to make further improvements” this year.

Aside from difficult financial conditions, the store has been dealing with the problem of revamping its supply chains — it announced in August that it would cease operations in Myanmar — as well as a marketing blunder.

Earlier this month, it was compelled to withdraw advertising for school uniforms in Australia after social media users complained that it sexualized youngsters. “We are deeply sorry for the offense this has caused,” H&M was quoted as saying.

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