Arnotts, the iconic Irish department store that was recently taken over by its banks, has appointed former Selfridges director of finance Ray Hernan as chief operating officer.

Chartered accountant Hernan previously for both Selfridges and for Brown Thomas in Ireland, reporting into finance director John Edgar. Prior to that, he was director of finance at budget airline Ryanair.

It is not clear what his appointment means for Arnotts chief executive David Riddiford, who was still in place earlier this month.

Hernan’s appointment comes weeks after Mark Schwartz, retail specialist and chief executive of private equity firm Palladin Capital Group, was confirmed as the new chairman of the debt-laden department store’s board. It followed the European Union Competition Commission approval of the takeover of Arnotts by Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster bank.

Schwartz said: “[He] has extensive experience of the retail sector and an in-depth knowledge of the Irish retail market. We look forward to having Ray Hernan on board for the journey ahead as we work together with employees and our vendor and concession partners to grow and develop Arnotts.”

Schwartz is currently conducting a review of Arnott’s senior management, which has already led to the departure of non-executive directors Keith Edelman and Michael Nesbitt, although outgoing chairman Richard Nesbitt is staying on as a non-executive director in recognition of the family’s contribution to the store.

Speaking to Drapers at the time, Schwartz said he had negotiated a new working capital facility with the banks, who are keen to focus on running the core retail business in the short to medium term.