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Tuesday  October 24  11:41 AM EDT

Head Hunting Firm Decapitates 250

By Treat Warland

Icupira, Peru ( -, which has decapitated more than 250 corporate executives in the past three months, has run afoul of U.S. authorities, who claim the Peruvian-based tribe-turned-Internet-startup is misleading potential clients by urging them to "make a clean break with the world's leading headhunting firm."

However, Boratu Jimenez Jenga, CEO of GreatHeadHunters, defended his company's practices, arguing industrialized nations are to blame for misappropriating the term "head hunter" to mean someone who will help you find a new job.

We are not recruiters. We are headhunters

"This is not false advertising," said Jenga. "We are great headhunters.   We hunt heads.  Our fathers hunted heads.  Our fathers' fathers hunted heads.  If we contact you and you give us your information, we are going to find you and take your head."

"But cleanly," he added.  "We are not barbarians."

They are, however, successful.  Since taking to the Web last year, has witnessed unprecedented growth.  In Q3 2000 alone, said Jenga, head acquisitions increased 985 percent over the previous quarter.

"The Internet has been a most incredible boost for our business," he said.   "Before, we might get eight or 10 heads a year, and for those we had to pretty much kidnap people, or hang out at rock concerts.  Now we get inquiries all the time from people actually looking for headhunters.  They give us their addresses, their job histories.  It's so easy to find them!"

In fact, Jenga said, the tribe now has more potential clients than it can possibly decapitate, and soon plans to open offices in New York, Chicago, and Silicon Valley.   To staff the offices, the company plans to hire outside the tribe for the first time, although Jenga promised the heads of new hires would not be taken.

"I will salt the eye-sockets of the newly dead to ensure this does not happen," he said.

Asked if this was some magic charm to guarantee a future outcome, Jenga conceded it was not.

"Actually, I just say that to sound headhuntery.   Really, we have attorneys who handle the contracts.   They are pretty explicit.  Mostly boilerplate."

According to the U.S. State Department, however, the success of GreatHeadHunters is countered by the "deep pain" the company's practices have caused the families of U.S.-based executives.  One example was Robert Copping, who until January was a senior product developer at Nokia.

"Robert was being courted by a dozen headhunting firms, and he was looking to move, so when he got the email from GreatHeadHunters, he figured it wouldn't hurt to speak with them, too" said his wife, Ashley Copping.  "He sent them his personal info, arranged a meeting, and the next thing I know, zip, his head is gone.

"GreatHeadHunters indeed," she added sourly.  "I'd like to give them a piece of my mind."

Jenga said he would arrange it.

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