Alex Young has stepped down as commercial director at Itsu, the Julian Metcalfe-founded chain, to join POD, the healthy fast food and coffee shop operator, as its new chief operations officer, MCA has learnt.

Young, who spent nine years at Itsu, including seven years as commercial director, replaces Tim Bartram, who stepped down as chief financial officer/chief operating officer of the 24-strong POD, earlier this year.

At the same time, James Mitchell, former head of operations London at Itsu, has joined POD, as its acting head of food.

He replaces Sean Burlinson, who left his role as head of food at POD earlier this year.

Burlinson, who had previously worked for Harris + Hoole and Spirit Pub Company, had been in the role since January 2016.

The new appointments come as the company launches its first site in west London, in Hammersmith Broadway.

Bartram joined the 24-strong, London-based group at the start of 2013 as finance director before stepping up to CFO/COO in May last year. He was previously director of finance at Morrison Facilities Services.

MCA understands that Young’s appointment is part of a restructure of POD’s head office team, with executive chairman John Postlethwaite currently overseeing the business.

The company returned to the expansion trail last summer with an opening in Kingsway and followed that by opening its first West End site, which trades all-day and seven-days a week, in Seven Dials.