Swedish fashion retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz today (11 February) named Karl-Johan Persson, the son of H&M chairman and majority owner Stefan Persson, as its new CEO.

He will replace Rolf Eriksen who is retiring this year.

Karl-Johan Persson, who takes up the new post on 1 July, has had an operational role within H&M since 2005 and is currently head of expansion, business development and brand and new business.

The retailer said in a statement that Persson has "the background, qualifications and experience that are required to manage H&M going forward."

Karl-Johan added that there "is still much to do". "I am looking forward to continuing to develop H&M by constantly strengthening our customer offerings, developing H&M on existing markets as well as entering new markets."

Karl-Johan Persson has been a board member of H&M's subsidiaries in Denmark, Germany, the US and the UK since 2000, and in 2006 he was elected board member of H&M's parent company.

The clothing giant, which operates 1,700 stores in 33 markets, last month said it planned to push on with growth plans after posting a 13% hike in full-year profit to SEK15.3b as sales jumped 15% to SEK26.3bn (US$3.3bn).

The fast fashion retailer expects to create up to 7,000 new jobs during 2009, opening a net total of 225 new stores and establishing its first outlet in Beijing this spring.