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Headhunters loyal to Andersen. (Career Corner).

About 18 months ago, the country's largest temp firm for manual workers, Labor Ready Labor Ready, Inc., based in Tacoma, Washington, is the United States' largest provider of temporary manual labor to the construction industry, other light industry, and small businesses. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol LRW.  in Tacoma, Wash., became the object of a campaign by the AFL-CIO AFL-CIO: see American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
 in full American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations

 to force from it greater disclosure about its labor practices.

But when Enron's misdeeds became public, the campaign against Labor Ready took a different tone. The union began accusing the firm, which is audited by Andersen for the time being, of Enron-like partnerships and poor auditor independence.

Labor Ready's finances aside, part of the union's "evidence" against it is that its CFO See Chief Financial Officer. , Steven Cooper, worked for Andersen before joining Labor Ready in 1999. "They're trying to get attention," says Cooper, 39, who notes that he was on the consulting side and didn't have material decision making authority. "They're going to take the most current event and sensationalize sen·sa·tion·al·ize  
tr.v. sen·sa·tion·al·ized, sen·sa·tion·al·iz·ing, sen·sa·tion·al·iz·es
To cast and present in a manner intended to arouse strong interest, especially through inclusion of exaggerated or lurid details:

Rightly or wrongly, countless Andersen alumni now working for corporations as controllers, treasurers, CFOs and even CEOs have been potentially exposed to guilt-by-association.

"It's a perception problem, so whether you're from Enron or Andersen, you've got to live with the tainted brand," says Dale Jones, managing partner for the southeast in the Atlanta office of executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles, who believes this too will pass.

While most ex-Andersenites aren't too worried, "it's our clients who have obvious concerns surrounding people who've been involved in those organizations -- and we operate under our clients' guidance," counters Keith Anderson For the reggae artist also known as Keith Anderson, see .

Keith Anderson (born on January 12, 1968, in Miami, Oklahoma) is an American country singer. Early life
, a partner with Heidrick & Struggles in San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden . "All of this is made no easier by an economy that's relatively slow; there's a greater supply of good people than there is demand." Recruiters at Russell Reynolds and Korn/Ferry declined to comment, citing conflicts of interest.

Fortunately for Andersen alumni, scandal and opportunism Opportunism
Arabella, Lady

squire’s wife matchmakes with money in mind. [Br. Lit.: Doctor Thorne]

Ashkenazi, Simcha

shrewdly and unscrupulously becomes merchant prince. [Yiddish Lit.
 are no match for Andersen's heretofore peerless reputation as an incubator of executive talent.

The vast majority of recruiters would agree with Roger Kenny, managing partner at recruiting firm Boardroom Consultants in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: "When you think of Andersen you think of training and discipline. There are very fond feelings about Andersen's history of professionalism. Even if [Andersen] disappears, no executive with that heritage should ever deny or downplay it."

The 89-year-old Andersen firm employs 85,000 people, thousands of whom trained at its renowned facility on the Fox River in St. Charles, Ill. Last year it spent more than $550 million on employee training, and was named one of Fortune's top employers for the 19th year in a row.

Ted Jadick, vice chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in New York, says about the scandal:

"It doesn't bother me, and if it bothered a client I would challenge their thinking."
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Title Annotation:Arthur Andersen and Co.
Author:Sherwood, Sonja
Publication:Chief Executive (U.S.)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
Previous Article:Time of the title. (Arrivals).
Next Article:Coverage is costly for top brass.

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