Move of the Week: Why counteroffers aren’t all they seem


It will understandably have come as a great source of frustration for Marks & Spencer that its new stores director David Lepley has had a last-minute change of heart and opted to stay at Morrisons.

A great deal of time and resource goes into retail recruitment at the highest level. When you consider that notice periods can be anything up to a year for senior executives, you could be looking at a nearly two-year delay if a candidate performs a U-turn just weeks before they are due to begin their new role.

Lepley, who is currently Morrisons’ operation director, is reported to have been offered a bigger role with the grocer, though further details have not been revealed.

I don’t claim to know the circumstances behind this particular hire; however, I am of the view that, in general, accepting a counteroffer is the wrong thing to do.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.