Arthur Ryan has passed away at the age of 83.
A statement issued by the company this evening said he died after a short illness.
The Corkman opened the first Penneys store in Dublin in 1969, before expanding to Britain in the 1970s where it was renamed Primark.
He also served as the retailer's chairman and CEO.
It's current CEO Paul Marchant has paid tribute to Mr Ryan this evening saying "he was a truly gifted retailer and a visionary leader. "
While George Weston, CEO of Associated British Foods- which owns Penneys- says Arthur Ryan "made fashion accessible to all and his legacy looms large."