Geronimo Inns, the pub operator acquired by Young’s for £60m late last year, has appointed Mark Ashley as its new operations director. Ashley, who was previously chief operating officer of Virgin Active replaces Alf France and will report in to Geronimo Inns’ managing director Rupert Clevely. He was also head of operations at Marks & Spencer, where he helped to create, develop and launch new food propositions such as Bakery & Patisserie, which went on to become a £30m business in two years. Geronimo Inns currently operates 29 pubs in total and is set to open a new flagship site on the ground floor of the headquarters of Japanese bank Nomura in the City of London, called The Oyster Shed.