Lucy Knowles, former managing director of City of London-based wine bar company Corney & Barrow Bars, has been appointed chief marketing officer at travel concessions operator SSP, M&C Report has learnt.

It was announced on Thursday that Knowles was to leave Corney & Barrow to pursue a career elsewhere in marketing. Ed Gardner, group business development director at Corney & Barrow Group, which includes the group’s wine and spirits merchants business, was named as her replacement.

Knowles, who is due to start her new role in late May, recently gained experience of operating in a transport hub with the opening of Corney & Barrow’s first site at a station, the Cabin in Waterloo.

Chairman Percy Weatherall said on Thursday: “We wish Lucy well. However, we are lucky to have an ideal internal candidate to step into this key role. The Board are confident that Ed can provide the necessary strength of leadership and direction to enable Corney & Barrow Bars to remain the premium bar offering of choice within London’s financial district.”

Earlier this year, Corney & Barrow Group reported a pre-tax loss of £1.1m in the year to 30 April 2012 against a pre-tax profit of £0.4m in the previous year. Turnover grew just over 1% to £16.9m due to a combination of service charges, the net effect of new bar openings and closures, and comparatives against the previous year when like-for-likes declined 11%, although these were budgeted to recover in the current year.

Knowles said at the time that the company was seeing improving trends in its current financial year.

The group has been seen as a possible consolidation play for Novus or Drake & Morgan, which is soon to be acquired by Bowmark Capital.

Last year, it announced it was to reposition its estate with a new brand identity and new formats.