Jones, who has recently been working as a consultant for AOL in the UK, has been hired as part of the chief executive Ashley Highfield’s recent strategic review.
The regional newspaper publisher saw a pre-tax loss of £144 million last year, and advertising revenue fell 9 per cent year on year.
Jones will report to Highfield and be responsible for driving national ad sales, devising joined-up propositions for advertisers across print and digital, and overseeing all commercial revenues including circulation.
He will work closely with the digital development team to identify growth opportunities and will be supported by Chris Babayode, the group commercial director. He takes up his role on 18 June.
Jones left Carat in 2009 after 17 years at the Aegis agency to take up the role of director of commercial strategy at News International. He held this position for three years but left at the end of last year at a time when the commercial team was restructured.