Hermès has chosen Axel Dumas, a sixth-generation member of the company's founding family, to be its new chief executive, succeeding Patrick Thomas, who has announced his intent to retire by the end of 2013. Dumas is currently the chief operating officer, and from this month will also add in the duties of CEO during a transition period with Thomas. Thomas, who is celebrating his 75th birthday, has been head of the group since 2006.