Primark managing director Arthur Ryan is reportedly planning to step down in September and hand over the day-to-day running of the business to chief operating officer Paul Marchant.
According to The Independent newspaper Marchant, who joined Primark from New Look in January, will be promoted to chief executive in mid-September. However Ryan is likely to remain in the chairman’s role.
Marchant’s promotion is likely to prompt a wider change at the top of Primark.
Primark is believed to have a search out with headhunters Odgers Berndtson, who are kept on a retainer by the group, for a new finance executive. The newspaper said it was unclear whether that person would succeed Patrick Prior, the current finance director.
The retailer, which has 190 stores, is also seeking an international trading director after Guy Young, who joined from C&A last year, left this month.
However Primark’s human resources director Breege O’Donoghue and Seamus Halford, deputy managing director, both long-standing Primark employees, are understood to be remaining with the business.
The notoriously secretive Ryan, who is now in his seventies, has remained a huge influence in Primark since its first store opened in Dublin in 1969. Arthur Ryan came first in Drapers Top 100 last year.