Anchor Foods managing director Fernando Guerra is to remain with the company despite accepting a similar job at own-label manufacturer FE Barber.
According to sources, the surprise U-turn was made after Anchor offered Guerra more favourable terms to stay.
Barber, which is owned by Hobsons, announced in May that Guerra would join the company from Anchor this month.
A spokesman for Hobsons says the company is unhappy that Guerra decided not to join but he adds that it will continue to search for a new managing director.
“We are obviously disappointed, but this is a successful expanding company and we should not find it too difficult to find a replacement,” he says.
He adds that there will be no wrangle over contracts.
Barber was bought by Hobsons for 104m in May 1994. It was formerly the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s food manufacturing business.