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Heidrick & Struggles CEO to step down

CHICAGO (AP) -- Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. said Monday that is longer pursuing a sale of its business and that its CEO is stepping down.

The company's stock fell 11 percent in afterhours trading following the announcement.

Chicago-based Heidrick & Struggles said that L. Kevin Kelly has stepped down as CEO after seven years in the role. He also resigned from the company's board of directors. Kelly, a 17-year company veteran, will return full-time to Heidrick's executive search practice in a senior client-service role.

Heidrick & Struggles said that Jory Marino, head of its U.S., Canadian and Latin American operations, will serve as interim CEO while the company reviews internal and external candidates for the chief executive position.

The company, which announced in June that it was exploring the possibility of selling itself, said Monday that it has decided to remain a stand-alone company. It said its board reviewed its strategic alternatives and held discussions with third parties over potential deals but determined, after consulting with financial advisers, that this was the best way to maximize value for its shareholders.

Heidrick & Struggles also said that it expects 2013 second-quarter net revenue to be at the high end of its previous guidance range of $110 million to $120 million when results are reported later this month. Analysts are expecting $114.6 million, according to FactSet.

Shares of the company fell $1.96 to $15.90 in after-hours trading. Through Monday's regular-session close, the stock had rising 24 percent since the company announced it was considering selling itself.