An organisational reshuffle has occurred and I no longer report to my former line manager. Except he is a difficult person. He has already decided not to accept it and is endeavouring to gaslight me and the team. He also has a tendency to mis-inform and sit on relevant information and chooses not to believe what he is told has come from the upper echelons of the company.

I've been very involved in the organisational reshuffle and I know what exactly is going on, but until its announced fully, I have to keep quiet. On Friday the first wave of staff being re organised were informed, of which my former line manager was one of them and he has been purposefully demoted, with no direct reports or (his 45) indirect reports. After that meeting he rung me to inform me of the changes and because of "our" relationship I will continue to report to him. Obviously, I kept quiet as today is the meeting where the people who are forming the new reporting echelon to the CTO are being informed of the role changes (I think it should have been the other way around but holidays and time off meant the group couldn't be brought together).

Obviously I'm going to seek clarification on roles and responsibilities during this meeting with the group in this meeting.

This person is difficult to say the least and like to make sure that he keeps lines of communication as closed as possible - basically to gaslight.

I'm now on equal footing with the manager who will be managing this individual.

How should I tackle this?

I think -

  • Seek clarification for the CTO on roles, responsibilities and authority,
  • Then a 1-2-1 with my peer who will be managing him

and then what should I do, if he (my former line manager) doesn't play ball as he has already indicated?

  • 1
    Is there a very good reason why your former manager has not just been fired? Fabricating information is a gross misconduct offence anywhere I've ever worked. Jul 6, 2020 at 8:31
  • You're asking two questions here I think, one about how to approach this situation and one about what to do if it goes wrong, which at this stage is rather premature which makes it exceedingly hard to answer. It will depend on what exactly "not playing ball" means with not much more to say than "manage/react accordingly". I'd suggest rephrasing this to focus on how to approach this (including whether/how to inform this person's new manager). you might also want to just give him a fake name rather than sticking with "this individual". :)
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 6, 2020 at 9:47
  • It is more "when it does go wrong". I've also changed it from fabrication to "tendency to mis-inform" which often translates to X told me this, or Y got it wrong. What I/We (turns out I'm not the only one) have elected to do is to follow the outline road-map from the CTO, as to "not playing ball", I'm just going to politely ignore it, ensure that work and workload gets done as effectively as possible, support team members and ensure that they have what is necessary to be effective and create feedback loops.
    – Ourjamie
    Jul 6, 2020 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


There is really no need for action at this stage.

Them not playing ball is not your problem, and you can only complicate things by getting involved. They business will know there such a demotion is likely to cause problems.

Pretend they didn't say anything. Go about your business. It's likely they will screw up in some way without your involvement. Their new manager will deal with them.

Once you know who your boss is, if they persist in this... wishful thinking... it would be appropriate to talk with your new boss. But this is not your problem to deal with.

You should be focusing on your own future now.


I agree with your proposed plan of action.

As to what to do if your former manager doesn't play ball, then take it up with his new manager and have them solve it. If they don't, then escalate as appropriate. It's not your problem to solve, so don't make it one.

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