The founder of Penneys, Arthur Ryan, has passed away aged 83.
The much-loved CEO ran the company from 1969 to 2009.
Current CEO of the company, Paul Marchant, said the company is “greatly saddened” by his death.
Arthur had opened the very first Penneys store on Dublin’s Mary Street in 1969.
The brand, which later expanded internationally under the Primark label, now has 370 stores across the world.
“I was fortunate to work closely with him and experience first-hand his sharp mind and innovative thinking,” Paul said.
“Over the years we developed a very strong friendship, which I will always value and cherish.
Arthur was survived by his wife Alma, but very sadly lost his son and grandson in a triple drowning accident in West Cork in 2015.
Tributes have been pouring in for the fashion retail founder on social media since the news broke.
Take a look:
Very sorry to see the passing of Penneys founder Arthur Ryan, today. A true giant of Irish business and a world class retailer. May he RIP.
— Rhona Blake (@Rhona_Blake) July 8, 2019
I am so sad about the death of Arthur Ryan. He was a good friend and had a great mind. I didn’t realise when i met him and Alma last summer and we talked about going for dinner that it would be the last time I would see him. RIP. https://t.co/w6hHrQgKW4
— Gayle Killilea (@KillileaGayle) July 8, 2019
RIP Arthur Ryan. He was an exceptional individual to be able to build and grow the Primark into a global business the way he did. https://t.co/6hH9S7cmM9
— Business Plus (@BusinessPlusMag) July 8, 2019
— Ian Hyland (@Ian_Hyland) July 8, 2019
RIP Arthur Ryan. He & I made an unlikely pair when we would sit together in the Berkeley Court Hotel. He enjoyed chatting about football, I enjoyed asking for more stories of the remarkable development of Penneys. A remarkable man. pic.twitter.com/yGLOe0VdqN
— Des Cahill (@sportsdes) July 8, 2019