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Ruter Dam of the year 2020

Helena Helmersson, CEO H&M-group


Helena Helmersson, CEO of the H&M Group, has been named Ruter Dam of the Year 2020 – an honorary award, awarded to the woman who has been promoted to the most influential management position in Swedish business during the past year.


This year's Ruter Dam is Helena Helmersson, who since January this year is ceo of the H&M Group. Helena has a long and successful career within the H&M Group where she started working as a controller at the age of 23. Followed by several different roles in purchasing, logistics and production, but it was primarily the role of global sustainability manager, and her years as HR manager in Bangladesh, that characterized her the most. In 2018, she was appointed chief operating officer with responsibility for expansion, logistics, production, IT, advanced data analysis and AI. Two years later was appointed CEO.


Hennes & Mauritz was founded in Västerås in 1947 and has more than 5,000 stores in 74 countries. Today, the H&M Group has approximately 179,000 employees and in 2019 net sales amounted to SEK 233 billion.


– Helena Helmersson has already proved to be more than qualified for the role of CEO after she managed to steer the H&M Group towards a rapid recovery despite a nightmare start. Her guiding principle and main driving force is sustainability and she is passionate about leading the fashion industry towards a sustainable future. Helena is inspired to lead in change and her leadership is largely characterized by her courage, her belief in her co-workers and her ability to put the team before the self. Helena Helmersson is a true female role model and she was the jury's unanimous choice," says Marika Lundsten, CEO of Ruter Dam. 


 The selection process for the honorary Ruter Dam of the year award takes into account the size, turnover, number of employees and the female manager's degree of power and influence. The key words for Ruter Dam are business, quality and results. The award winner is appointed by Ruter Dam's CEO and Board of Directors: Marika Lundsten, CEO Ruter Dam, Chairman Gunnel Duveblad, Gunilla Arhén, founder of Ruter Dam, Karin Eliason, board professional, Ann Carlsson, CEO Apoteket AB, Malin Persson, board professional and Eva Krutmeijer, CEO and founder EKKO AB. Ruter Dam's Board of Directors continuously monitors appointments at the highest leading levels. At a jury meeting, the Board and the CEO decide which woman has been given the greatest responsibility during the year in terms of number of employees, turnover and total responsibility.


– I was really flattered and happy when I received the news that I had been named Ruter Dam of the Year. Of course, it's great if I can inspire others to lead in change. My hope is that we will see a business sector with greater diversity in the future. For me, it is quite obvious to be able to attract the top talents and meet our customers and their needs in the very best way," says Helena Helmersson.


The honorary Ruter DAM of the Year award is awarded annually in the form of a diploma and the honor in connection with The Ruter Dam-dagen, a seminar for participants from Ruter Dam's Chief Development and Mentoring Program. Unlike last year, Helena will this year instead participate in a live interview that will be broadcasted online for Ruter Dam's network, due to the current pandemic.

Last year, the honorary award Ruter Dam of the Year, went to Carina Åkerström CEO Handelsbanken. Prior to that, the award for its positions at the time went to Petra Einarsson, President and CEO billerudKorsnäs (2018) and Susanne Ehnbåge, President and CEO of Nordic NetOnNet (2017). Previous laureates also include Helena Stjernholm, CEO Industrivärden, Mia Brunell Livfors, CEO Axel Johnson, Sonat Burman Olsson, former CEO Coop Sweden, Annika Falkengren, former CEO of SEB and Ann Carlsson, CEO of Apoteket AB.


Anna Johansson, Micael Bindefeld AB

+46 73 342 27 28

Marika Lundsten, vd Ruter Dam & Spader Ess

+ 46 70 384 85 75

Annie Edwards, Press Officer H&M Group

+46 73 462 22 95



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