Stefan Persson

Stefan Persson is a Swedish billionaire businessman and the former chairman of H&M, a multinational clothing retail company. Persson took over H&M from his father in 1982 and served as its manager until 1998. He also owns a substantial stake in the Swedish technology company Hexagon AB. Through his privately held real estate company Ramsbury Invest, Persson owns many properties in London, Paris and Stockholm.

Early life

Persson has four children and is married to Carolyn Denise Persson. The family is known for their philanthropic work and has donated large sums to various charitable causes over the years.

From his previous marriage to Pamela Collett, Persson has three children – Karl-Johan Persson, who took over as the CEO of H&M in 2009, and Tom Persson and Charlotte Söderström, both of whom are also billionaires. Persson currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden, with his second spouse, Denise Persson (previously Florman).

Erling Persson, Stefan Persson’s father, established a women’s apparel store, Hennes (“Hers”), in Västerås, Sweden, in 1947, where Persson learned the fundamentals of fashion retailing. The business quickly gained popularity in the Swedish market, with the addition of a Stockholm location and subsequent expansion to other European countries.

Following the acquisition of Mauritz Widforss, a Swedish hunting gear retailer, in 1968, the company was renamed H&M and began offering men’s clothing. In 1972, Persson joined his family’s business, contributing to the company’s European expansion and witnessing the opening of its first UK store in London in 1976. When his father became the chairman of the board, Persson took over as H&M’s managing director and CEO in 1982.


Stefan Persson, a Swedish entrepreneur, has amassed a considerable fortune through his involvement in the fashion industry. As the leader of the renowned fashion chain H&M, he has emerged as a major player in the field. H&M was established by Persson’s father in 1947, and Persson presently serves as the company’s principal shareholder. As a result of his success, he is presently recognized as the 17th wealthiest person globally.

Persson took over the leadership of H&M from his father in 1982 and served as the company’s CEO until 1998, after which he became the chairman of the board of directors. During his tenure as CEO, Persson oversaw H&M’s expansion from a small Swedish clothing retailer to a global fashion brand with stores in over 70 countries.

Ramsbury Estates Limited is primarily overseen by Persson, who serves as its exclusive director. The company operates on a massive scale, cultivating 19,000 acres (7,700 ha) of land in Wiltshire, Berkshire, and Hampshire, with a focus on Ramsbury village. Since purchasing the enterprise in 1997, Persson has expanded its holdings by procuring land from nearby estates like Littlecote and Hungerford Park. As of January 2022, Persson’s estimated net worth was $21.2 billion, earning him the 89th spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

As of September 2021, Stefan Persson had an estimated net worth of $22.9 billion, according to Forbes. He is one of Sweden’s richest people and is ranked among the world’s top 100 billionaires.

In addition to his work at H&M, Persson has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors. He founded the Persson Foundation in 2004, which supports research in the fields of science, medicine, and social welfare. Persson has also been involved in various cultural initiatives, including the creation of the Wanås Foundation, which supports contemporary art and culture.

Stefan Persson founded the Mentor Foundation, a non-profit organization with the objective of preventing substance abuse among young individuals. Additionally, he supports Djurgårdens IF and is jointly financing a foundation for the club. Persson’s recreational activities include downhill skiing, golf, and tennis. He possesses properties situated in London, Paris, and Stockholm and in 2009, acquired the 21-cottage village of Linkenholt located in Hampshire, England.

Some interesting facts about Persson:

  • He is known for his philanthropy and is involved in several charitable causes. He has donated millions of dollars to organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Stockholm School of Economics, and the Swedish Cancer Society.
  • In addition to his role at H&M, Persson is also the chairman of Ramsbury Invest AB, a privately-owned investment company that manages the Persson family’s fortune.
  • Persson is an avid art collector and has a significant collection of modern and contemporary art, which is displayed at his private museum, the Museum of Photography in Stockholm.
  • He is a passionate horse breeder and owns several award-winning racehorses, including the 2006 Epsom Oaks winner, Alexandrova.
  • Persson is an environmentalist and has made several investments in sustainable technologies, such as renewable energy and recycling. He has also implemented eco-friendly initiatives at H&M, such as using organic cotton and reducing waste.

Net Worth

According to Forbes, his net worth is around $28 billion.


Stefan Persson has not received any notable individual awards or honors for his work at H&M or his philanthropic efforts. However, under his leadership, H&M has received recognition for sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts, including:

Inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for several consecutive years.
Recognition from the Fair Labor Association for H&M's efforts to improve working conditions in its supply chain.
H&M was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for six years in a row (2012-2017).
H&M received a score of A- in the 2020 CDP Climate Change report for its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.

While Persson himself has not received any major awards, his family’s charitable foundation, the Persson Foundation, has supported numerous research and social welfare initiatives and has received recognition for its philanthropic contributions.