Primark boss Arthur Ryan will step down as chief executive of Primark from Sunday, but will remain chairman of the value fashion retailer.

Chief operating officer Paul Marchant has been promoted to chief executive. He joined Primark from New Look in January, where he was also chief operating officer.

Ryan, who founded the business as Penneys in Ireland in 1969, said: “I am extremely proud of all that Primark has achieved. As chairman, I am looking forward to working with Paul to ensure the ongoing success and future development of the business.”

Marchant said: “This role is one of the most exciting in international retail and I am looking forward to working with Arthur Ryan and the rest of the Primark board to build on the success of the business to date.”

George Weston, chief executive of parent company Associated British Foods said: “Since Paul joined Primark earlier this year, he and Arthur have been working together to drive its growth. Paul will now take on day-to-day control. Arthur is the creator, driving force and inspiration behind the business and will continue to bring his enormous expertise and experience to its development in his role as chairman.”