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

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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.

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