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I've been working at the same company for 8 years. Initially I started as a junior manager and reported to the General Manager of the department. The General Manager left as he became bored and complacent, this reflected in his performance.
A year after his departure I was promoted to the General Manager position. I have done this successfully for three years. A junior manager has resigned and the owner is insisting that his friend come back on board as the junior manager's replacement, reporting to me.
The friend is qualified but my concerns are, the owner got complacent and left the business in a state of disrepair, he was a yes-man while he was in the GM role, you can be certain any conversation you had with him was reported back to the owner of the business, he used to be my boss and mentor, his friendship with the owner I believe is a conflict of interest.
I have raised my concerns with the owner who has said he is not a threat and will only improve the business and solidify the management team. I think there may be an ulterior motive.
We mutually agreed that while his friend was a very good candidate that it is best that we go to market and see what are the candidates are out there. He assured me that he hasn't spoken to his friend and would see if he applied.
The job at was placed and applications started coming through. I received a phone call from the bosses friend saying that his wife saw the ad on seek and told him about it. he wanted to have a chat and and discuss the position. He inquired whether he could be considered for the position.
I was honest and said the CEO and I had discussed this and quite frankly it seems like a really easy and logical idea given his experience however I did say I've did have some issues that I need to discuss with him in person and we should catch up to discuss them the following day
The following day we got in touch with each other but weren't able to meet due to work commitments he was also going on leave for 4 days I asked him if he is interested in the position to please apply for the job through the job seek portal so that I could review every candidate they based on their experience and should there be any question from internal applicants I can show and equal process of evaluation.
I received no application from him, in my mind it was a test to see if he had changed and if he was willing to take direction from me. He failed
Upon review with the CEO one week later we began discussing the shortlist and the subject of his friend came up. I told the CEO that I hadn't received an application and that I did discuss the position and my feelings in more detail with his friend but we weren't able to meet up due to an opposing work commitments.
The CEO and then quickly turned and said I was being extremely arrogant and and I had upset his friend who did not feel as though he was welcome or even going to be considered as a candidate and that I was out of line.
I responded to this with surprise as I have known his friend for 6 years and feel that he should have been able to tell me this straight up.
I told the CEO I was going to call him apologize and explain that I did not mean to make him feel that way. Despite my reservations and concerns about bringing him back I will always respect his friend because he mentored me and without him I would not be in the position where I am today. The CEO agreed the call was good idea.
When I called his friend and apologized his friend was surprised. In frustration he said to me fuck it I'm going to level with you because I can't play games and if we are going to maybe work together we need to be on the same page.
He told me the CEO contacted him and said he wanted him back in the role before it was advertised, the friend asked about me and my feelings about it and the CEO said it was a sensitive issue and not to worry he will handle it. He apologised for lying to me in the first instance and we chatted for an hour and aired a few concerns we both had. The conversation ended with the friend telling me that he will only come back if I was 100% behind him and if I wanted him back because he believes the position I'm in is difficult and would not want it to be done to him.
Now I'm in a position where the CEO has directly lied to me and by communicating with his friend and orchestrating this whole thing has proven my initial concerns about those 2 were real.
The friend claims the CEO has done it because he values me and doesn't want to ram this down my throat, I just feel disrespect and quite frankly think I deserve better.
Most of the advice from my senior colleagues outside the business is for me to suck it up, swallow it and embrace the situation and move on. Because any other reaction would be immature and detrimental to my future.
I'm not sure what to do as I feel I need to get all of this out in the open and make sure I'm on the same page with the CEO. I've never been a yes-man or kissass and the CEO and I usually speak freely and have constructive discussions.