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CNBC's Gasparino: Lehman's Young Left Over Management Job

Lehman Brothers investment banker Woody Young abruptly left the firm last week after several testy conversations with CEO Dick Fuld, who told him he wouldn't get a senior management job at the firm, CNBC's Charlie Gasparino has learned.

Speculation has swirled around why Young, one of Wall Street’s top telecommunications investment bankers, gathered his staff at Lehman last Friday and told them he was resigning, Gasparino said. Young then promptly left the firm’s midtown Manhattan offices.

The speculation has centered on whether Young had “philosophical” differences over how best to run the investment bank, namely how to handle smaller investment banking accounts.

But that turned out to be untrue, Gasparino reports. When it came down to it, Young left after several months of trying to convince senior managers at Lehman--including CEO Fuld--that he was management material. Fuld didn’t think so and told him that during a meeting in December.

Last Friday, when Young walked into Fuld’s office and told him that he was resigning, Fuld did nothing to keep him at the firm, Gasparino said

Officials at Lehman told Gasparino that both sides parted amicably. But Young’s departure does say something about the culture of Lehman where CEO Dick Fuld rules with an iron fist, Gasparino said.

Fuld felt that Young may have been a great investment banker but he didn’t have the chops to be a manager, and he was willing to watch a top producer leave rather than be bullied into doing something that he didn’t think was good for the firm, Gasparino said.

Sources told Gasparino that Young has spoken to at least one firm thus far, and there is speculation that he’s going to Goldman Sachs, but that couldn't be confirmed.