kick someone upstairs

kick (one) upstairs

To promote one to a position that is higher but undesirable or that has little actual responsibility or authority. They kicked John upstairs to an assistant manager position so he would stop griping about his pay.
See also: kick, upstairs

kick someone upstairs

BRITISH
If you kick someone upstairs, you give them a job or position which seems to have a higher status but actually has less power, in order to reduce their influence. Peter Greenall becomes managing director succeeding Andrew Thomas, who is kicked upstairs to become deputy chairman. The radicals kicked him upstairs to the then ceremonial job of president.
See also: kick, someone, upstairs

kick someone upstairs

remove someone from an influential position in a business by giving them an ostensible promotion. informal
See also: kick, someone, upstairs