Ward Howell International Adds to New York Office

January 10, 2019 – Global recruiter Ward Howell International has appointed John J. Keller as partner, innovation & transformation, based in the firm’s New York office. As an executive recruiter, Mr. Keller is charged with finding innovators, “game changers who can lead, transform, assess, integrate and grow businesses, teams and cultures,” said the search firm.

“We are delighted to welcome John to Ward Howell,” said Asad Haider, president for the Americas, COO and member of the board. “Having a partner of John’s caliber on our team, who can help our clients in all businesses and sectors drive innovation and deal with disruption, is immensely powerful for our firm. John finds leaders who understand how best to leverage high-performance management knowhow with technology and the latest digital, data and AI tools.”

“John’s high-profile placements have built great brands, turned around iconic businesses, developed high-performance teams and delivered sustained growth,” said Mr. Haider.

Mr. Keller has spent two decades as a recruiter and advisor of CEOs, CHROs, C-suite leaders and boards. Previously, he led Diversified Search’s technology and telecommunications efforts as managing director. In that role, he grew the firm’s tech and telecom business while also helping to build an effective global brand in transformational, growth and diversity recruiting. Before that, he was a vice chairman with CTPartners and a senior client partner with Korn Ferry.

Mr. Keller was a senior partner with Spencer Stuart for a dozen years. There, he helped to build the firm’s technology, media and telecom practices as well as the CEO, board, assessment and intelligence units. Before entering the executive search industry, Mr. Keller was an award-winning journalist. Working globally, he covered some of the era’s biggest stories for the Wall Street Journal as well as BusinessWeek. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

“I am very excited as well as humbled to be joining such a rich, differentiating and venerable brand as Ward Howell International and its partners,” said Mr. Keller. “Founded by a former McKinsey partner who built McKinsey’s executive search practice before starting his own firm, Ward Howell today is evolved into a global firm offering executive search, innovation and transformation advisory services and business intelligence solutions.”


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“We are digital enabled, managed virtually, and our partners and team are plugged into the innovation and growth aspirations of our clients,” Mr. Keller added.

Pioneering Firm

Ward Howell International is a global executive search firm with a network of more than 130 partners across 26 offices. As one of the pioneers in the search industry, the firm works with corporate boards and senior leadership to deliver immediate and impactful performance gains through better leaders, teams and organizations.

Not long ago, the firm appointed Stuart K. Smith as partner in its hospitality & travel practice. He provides services to leaders of the hotel, restaurant and gaming industries. Based in the firm’s New York office, Mr. Smith joined Ward Howell with more than 20 years of business and leadership experience, having worked extensively throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. He has filled recruiting needs for industry leading hotel and restaurant operators, developers, private equity firms, government tourism ministries and sovereign wealth funds.

In addition, Ward Howell named Kimberly Bishop as chairman of its U.S. advisory board. Based in New York, she also collaborates across practices on key talent projects and executive searches. Ms. Bishop is the founder and CEO of Kimberly Bishop Talent Advisory. She began her career in search as a managing director of Korn Ferry, followed by vice chair of a national executive search firm.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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