Martin Shanahan has been named the chief executive designate of IDA Ireland.

Mr Shanahan, who has been chief executive of Forfás since 2010, will replace Barry O’Leary in the role.

Mr O’Leary announced his intention to step down from the position at the start of the year.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Richard Bruton welcomed the appointment, and said Mr Shanahan was a senior executive “of the highest calibre, with drive, energy and an impressive range of experience in both private and public sector.”

He said he expected him to bring a strategic vision to the role, which would help IDA Ireland address the challenges faced by multinational companies and continue job-creation in the sector.