It follows the announcement last summer of his predecessor’s decision to stand down.
Hughes joined the Society in 2011, and steps into the chief executive’s role from his previous position as group finance and transformation director.
Over the course of the coming weeks Hughes and outgoing CEO Graeme Yorston, will work through a handover period with Hughes timetabled to take up the reins in early March.
Principality is due to release its annual results next week and a spokesman for the building society said it was too early to make any announcement on the future strategy that Hughes would be looking to follow.
He said: “Hughes will no doubt have his own ideas and take on things, but we will be looking to expand on that once he starts in early March.”
Principality Chairman, Laurie Adams, said: “After a rigorous selection process, I am delighted to announce Steve as our new CEO. His commitment to our mutual values, invigorating leadership, financial and commercial acumen will help ensure he builds on the Society’s success.”
He added: “During his time at Principality, he has played an important role in keeping the society safe during some difficult economic conditions. He is the right person to ensure we continue to deliver long term value and excellent service to both existing and future members.”
Paying tribute to Yortson, Adams said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing CEO Graeme Yorston. Graeme has led this business through a hugely successful period and he exemplifies the mutual sector values. I am extremely grateful for all that he has done for this business over the past 10 years and more recently as CEO.”
Following the announcement of his promotion, Hughes commented: “It is a great honour and privilege to be appointed as CEO of the Principality Building Society which has a fantastic heritage of 156 years as a member-owned organisation. Our dedicated colleagues throughout the group have our members and customers at the heart of everything they do. Building on our financial strength we will seek to invest in our business and it will continue to be run for the benefit of our members. I am looking forward to working with the board, our leadership team and colleagues as we continue to build on our strong performance.”