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Headhunting firm denies blame for Yahoo CEO mess, says report

ATD's Kara Swisher publishes a letter she says is from Heidrick & Struggles CEO Kevin Kelly to his staff. In it, Kelly calls reported allegations by Yahoo's Scott Thompson "verifiably not true."

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
2 min read
Yahoo Inc. CEO Scott Thompson PayPal

"Verifiably not true."

That's what headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles reportedly has to say about Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's supposed suggestion that the firm was to blame for the notorious inaccuracy in his bio -- a glitch that gave him credit for a computer science degree he doesn't actually have.

AllThingsD's Kara Swisher published late today a letter she says is from Heidrick & Struggles CEO Kevin Kelly to his staff. The letter reads, in part:

...if recent media reports are accurate, the CEO of Yahoo has made potentially damaging allegations about our firm that are simply not true and cannot be allowed to stand in the public record. The media articles in question have indicated that the Yahoo CEO told members of his senior staff that, many years ago, a junior member of our firm invented an academic credential for him in the course of preparing standard profile materials. Based on information in our possession, this allegation is verifiably not true and we have notified Yahoo to that effect.

Earlier today, Business Insider reported that Thompson had told Yahoo employees that the bio glitch was probably introduced by a junior staffer at an unnamed executive placement firm prior to Thompson's landing a job at eBay-owned PayPal. BI also noted that Heidrick & Struggles had placed him at PayPal. BI said Thompson told his fellow Yahoos that he had not told the unnamed firm that he had a computer science degree.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Thompson told senior Yahoo execs that he never provided a resume or incorrect information to Yahoo.

And now we have the letter from Heidrick & Struggles' Kelly, the latest bit of news in the saga of Thompson, who's trying to hang onto his job after an activist investor discovered the bio glitch and called on Yahoo's board to fire him.

You can catch up on all the drama in CNET's roundup.

(CNET contacted Heidrick & Struggles and Yahoo for comment. We'll update the story if and when we get more information.)