Stefan Persson is Sweden’s richest person by way of global cheap chic fashion retailer H&M (Hennes & Mauritz), where he owns a 28% stake and serves as chairman. His father, Erling Persson, founded the chain in 1947. In order to meet its goal of a 10% annual increase in new stores, H&M has to average one store opening a day
Persson served as the manager of the company until the year 1998. He is also known for holding a very big and substantial stake in the Swedish technology company, Hexagon AB. He also owns a large number of properties through his real estate company known as Ramsbury. These properties are spread over Europe, including London, Paris, and Stockholm.
He is also one of the co-owners of Swedish real estate companies Förvaltningskommanditbolaget Forstmästaren and Kommanditbolaget Malma-Fastigheter.
Stefan Persson is a member of Kungliga Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences).
Mentor Foundation, founded by him is one of his most noble acts as a businessman. The non-profit organization is responsible for tackling substance abuse amongst the youth of Sweden and his hands-on approach to ensure that the problem is solved is one of the reasons that Persson is commended by many people the world over.
But coming back to H&M, Persson was responsible for the company becoming a major success story that it is today. Under his astute and smart leadership, the company has grown all over the world and employs nearly 132,000 employees spread across 62 nations. His pioneering collaborations with noted celebrities around the world in different domains led to the further success of the company.
Persson had worked with world-famous names such as Stella McCartney, Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Jimmy Choo and Maison Martin Margiela to name a few and the core of his fashion company is based on their efforts to bridge the gap between consumers and retailers.
Stefan Persson married photographer Pamela Collett while living in London in the 1970s.
The couple divorced in 1991. After the divorce, they chose to live near each other in Stockholm to make it easier for the children.
In 1993, Stefan Persson married Carolyn Denise Florman.
Pamela and Stefan Persson’s first child Karl-Johan Erling Göran Persson was born in London on 25 March 1975. Their first daughter, Charlotte, arrived two years later in 1977. When the eldest son Karl-Johan was around seven years old, the family relocated to Stockholm where they settled in the Djursholm neighborhood. In 1985, the couple welcomed a third child, Tom.
The young Karl-Johan attended Enskilda gymnasiet, a private high school in Stockholm, before moving to Australia to study history. After working for H&M in London, he attended European Businesses School, London 1996 – 2000.
Tom Persson works in the film industry. He attended the Met Film School in London, before returning to Sweden and starting a company with filmmaker Jens Assur.
Apart from this, he has also served as the Board of Director of Electrolux and INGKA Holding B.V and the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship. His father started out a business after visiting New York City shortly after World War 2, where he was impressed by the stylish clothes that were available at cheaper prices. He opened his first store, Hennes in Vasteras which became a huge success after which he started Hennes & Mauritz, known as H&M today.
By the year 1972, Stefan was helping his father promote the company all over the European continent. They opened a new store in London and by the time his father passed away in 2002, he had made a net profit of over $833 million, going on to show how much the company had grown during his tenure.