Sonia Prais Joins Ward Howell International as Partner

NEW YORK, April 3, 2017 — Executive search firm Ward Howell International has appointed Sonia Prais as a partner within the retail, beauty, & lifestyle practice group. Ms. Prais is based in California, and brings with her over 20 years of experience in executive search, having worked domestically in the US and extensively across Europe and Asia, with clients such as Saks Fifth Avenue /, Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, Topshop and Madura Garments. She has specific expertise in relocating candidates globally for her clients, often to challenging geographical markets.

Prior to joining Ward Howell, Ms. Prais served as president at Claridge Search & Consulting, building it to a global scale and working with diverse group of retailers, department stores, luxury and mass brands, pure-play and start-up ecommerce fashion websites. She works holistically with her clients across several functions and levels within their business, consulting them on internal organizational structure, succession planning, and global relocation of ‘best in class’ talent.

Retail Sector Challenges for 2017

Global retail is challenging, and rapidly evolving and changing. Millennials and their older peers are all lusting after fast and immediate gratification, optimum user experience across all channels, and outstanding customer service. The pace of change in a turbulent, yet slow to innovate retail industry is poised to accelerate further. Demand remains but how the retailer approaches, engages and converts the consumer is the key to who will thrive and grow, and companies are looking for different and exciting ideas from new talent to accelerate the pace of change. The ‘winners’ will look broader and further outside the traditional retail targets to introduce dynamic, innovative strategic thinkers into their folds.

“Lateral, ‘out of the box’, creative search and global reach is a key strength for us,” said Ms. Prais.  “We source and search beyond the retail sector to find best in class, innovative strategic thinkers and executors who can appreciate the current business challenges and work with their senior management teams and Board to achieve success. That’s our value proposition to clients.”

Based in Orange County, Ms. Prais will be working out of both California and New York offices. “We are delighted to welcome Sonia as a partner in the Ward Howell team,” said Asad Haider, president Americas and member of the global board at Ward Howell. “Sonia’s strong retail background is an asset to the firm, and we are confident our clients will be very pleased with the added perspective and knowledge that Sonia brings to Ward Howell.

About Ward Howell International

For more than 60 years Ward Howell International has been a leading provider of executive search solutions with more than 25 offices across the globe. Ward Howell’s renowned consultants specialize in all industries and functions in order to provide unparalleled senior-level executive search and leadership advisory services across all industry verticals. For more information on Ward Howell International, please visit

Contact Us:
Eleanor Day

Share This Article