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STOCKHOLM – Helena Helmersson, CEO of Swedish fast fashion brand H&M, has unexpectedly quit her role. Fashion industry veteran Daniel Ervér will take over with immediate effect. The move came as the company announced its annual results which suggested it is struggling to boost sales and profitability. Shares in H&M dropped 8 per cent.

Helmersson said the role has been “very demanding” and told journalists she did not have the energy to continue.

H&M said sales for December and January fell by 4 per cent compared to the previous year. This is concerning given that it covers the Christmas shopping period.

“Operating profit has been positively impacted by a stronger gross margin, the cost and efficiency programme, and good cost control. The H&M group is taking important steps towards the company’s ambitious climate goals. Preliminary results indicate that greenhouse gas emissions decreased by more than 20 per cent in 2023 compared with the 2019 baseline,” said Helena Helmersson, CEO.

Helmersson, has worked for 26 years within the H&M group, of which the last four years as CEO. The outgoing boss said: “I have spent almost my entire professional life in the H&M group and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work in many different parts of the business, in different countries and in different roles. It is with mixed feelings that I have informed the board of directors of my decision to leave the CEO role. I am very proud of what we together have achieved during the last years when we have navigated through pandemic, and several geopolitical and macro-economic challenges. However, it has been very demanding at times for me personally and I now feel that it is time to leave the CEO role, which of course has not been an easy decision.

“I have appreciated the great commitment and support of all colleagues and from Karl-Johan and the Board during my time as CEO. I continue to have a strong belief in the company. We have strong brands, a unique corporate culture and high ambitions in sustainability. I will now ensure a good handover, and think about my next step.”

Daniel Ervér is 42 years old and has worked in the H&M group for 18 years, of which the last four years as responsible for H&M. He started as a summer trainee in 2005 and then became a controller in 2006.

Since then, Daniel has been responsible for merchandising at H&M in Germany and the US, country manager for H&M Sweden, purchasing manager for H&M and responsible for H&M women and men.

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