Primark’s long-serving finance director Paddy Prior is set to step down from the value chain.

Prior, who joined Primark a year later than the retailer’s publicity-shy founder Arthur Ryan is handing over his role to Aidan Shields, who has worked at US fashion giant Gap and Old Navy.

It follows the announcement in September that Ryan would relinquish his chief executive role of 40 years and remain chairman of the business.

Former New Look chief operating officer Paul Marchant stepped in to the chief executive role at that time.

Shields is an Irishman who comes from Cork and will relocate from San Diego to Dublin.