Mark Edmonds, executive editor of Financial Times weekend magazine The Business, has stunned colleagues by quitting the job, less than two months after taking it, to join to the Daily Mail as an assistant features editor.
The Business editor Julia Cuthbert-son had waited 10 months to get a replacement for Michael Watts and had pulled off a seemingly unachievable feat in the face of the FT recruitment freeze when she hired Edmonds from outside the paper.
He is understood to have taken a substantial pay cut to join the FT from property websites in order to get back into newspapers.
Best known for his work on The Daily Telegraph, where he spent 10 years, launching the property supplement and the RX health supplement, Edmonds has rejoined Veronica Wadley, deputy editor of the Mail, with whom he worked on the Telegraph.
He saw FT deputy editor John Ridding to break the news of his departure on Friday, 2 November, and left the following Monday. Cuthbertson said: "It was a bit of a blow. I think we had a few teething problems of personal style as you might expect when somebody has come from outside. I had thought those were being resolved.
"I think he probably found it slightly arcane working here. He is a very forthright personality and it had taken people a bit of time to acclimatise to that.
"I am sorry to see him go. If he had stayed, I think things would have worked out well and he would have had a fruitful career here. But he is probably more suited to the Mail in the terms of his interests and the things he is good at."
Edmonds will have special responsibility at the Mail for helping Wadley with the Saturday paper. He said: "The job was extremely appealing and I couldn’t refuse. The FT is an extremely civilised employer and I left without any hard feelings. Given the opportunity, I’d be delighted to work with them again. "But I was less in control of the magazine than I had thought I was going to be. It just didn’t work out for either party.
"I thought the FT was terrific in terms of the sheer brainpower of people working there but what it came down to was that there was not an awful lot I was going to be able to do with the magazine."
Of the hole this has left in her team, Cuthbertson said: "There won’t be anybody coming from outside to replace him – there is no outside hiring at the moment."
By Jean Morgan