The Easter Road club wanted McLeish to succeed Alex Miller, who resigned three weeks ago, but were denied permission to approach him.
"It is no secret that we would have liked to have held discussions with the Motherwell manager, Alex McLeish," the Hibernian chairman, Douglas Cromb, said.
"We asked the Motherwell board for permission to talk to him as he is still under contract, but this was refused.
"We had hoped that, on reflection, the situation might change and permission would have been granted, but this has not been the case. Now it is time to move on."
In the meantime, Jocky Scott, who led the team to victory against Rangers last Saturday, will be in charge for today's game against Motherwell, a match which will surely test the emotions of 37-year-old McLeish.
Dunfermline, who entertain Dundee United, are without the suspended Marc Millar in their final match before the Coca-Cola Cup semi-final against Rangers next Tuesday.
Celtic will plunge Stewart Kerr into tomorrow's match against Hearts at Tynecastle, but manager Tommy Burns insists he has no fears about blooding the 21-year-old goalkeeper in a match being screened live by Scottish Television. Kerr replaces the suspended Gordon Marshall.
Andreas Thom is almost certainly out for Celtic, who also have Tosh McKinlay banned and Jorge Cadete not yet ready to return. Hearts could play former the French international Stephane Paille in the last match of his trial at Tynecastle, although Darren Beckford is also available.Reuse content