Punch Taverns' managed division has suffered a double blow after its proposed new national operations director Darren Topp decided against joining the company - and a senior operations director defected to Stonegate Pub Company, writes Paul Charity. It was announced in August that Topp was to leave BHS, where he was retail director, to join Punch. At the time, it was not known exactly when Topp would join Punch. Now, though, Topp has decided against leaving BHS where he has been offered a new position. Also leaving Punch is trade veteran Graham Jones, who oversaw new concepts for a while before becoming operations director for Punch neighbourhood pubs. Jones, who has worked for Laurel Pub Company, Greene King and Barracuda, is joining Stonegate Pub Company, the company backed by TDR Capital that bought 333 wet-led pubs from Mitchells & Butlers in March 2011. Jones worked with Stonegate chairman Ian Payne at Laurel Pub Company and has been persuaded to re-join his former boss in his new company. Punch has made a number of internal promotions in the wake of the two moves. Alan Morgan, currently operations director for price-led pub restaurants, becomes the new national operations director. Jackie Cupper, currently operations director for new concept development, becomes neighbourhood operations director. A Punch source said: “Unfortunately, Darren has now been offered a new opportunity with BHS and will not be leaving the retailer. “Whilst this is disappointing, this hasn’t come as a surprise. It has given us the opportunity to look at our internal talent and make a number of changes. “We are very sorry to lose Graham Jones from the business and wish him every success in his new venture.” In his role at BHS, Topp has full P&L responsibility for 200 stores as well as holding accountability for the Retail and Visual Merchandising teams and managing the BHS Food business for over 200 restaurants and coffee lounge operations selling a combination of branded and unbranded products. He has also managed the property portfolio. Prior to joining BHS, he worked for M&S for over 20 years having joined direct from school.