March 13, 2018 – Global recruiter Ward Howell International has named Kimberly Bishop as chairman of its U.S. advisory board. Based in New York, she will also collaborate across practices on key talent projects and executive searches.
“We are delighted to welcome Kim to Ward Howell,” said Asad Haider, president – Americas, COO and member of the board. “The depth of experience that Kim brings as she joins the firm is meaningful to us and our clients as we re-establish our U.S. business, particularly our focus on diversity as well as our C-suite and board practices.”
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. Prior to entering the search industry, she was executive vice president at First Data Corporation. Ms. Bishop is a board director of Shawmut Design and Construction and Bellevue University, a member of the board of advisors for Avrio AI and advisor for Debx. She is a member of both the International Women’s Forum and C200, an invitation-only membership organization of more than 500 of the world’s most successful female corporate executives and entrepreneurs.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of Ward Howell,” said Ms. Bishop. “I look forward to working with the firm to build the advisory board and grow the business as we help our clients address their leadership needs globally.”
For its part, Ward Howell is growing – albeit more slowly than Mr. Haider anticipated just a year to 18 months ago. The firm has a plan in place to add 50 partners and perhaps as many as double that in five years. It also has plans to establish roughly eight offices in key cities around the country, though momentum on that front has also slowed. Like many of its small boutique rivals, Ward Howell is challenged to find partners. The firm may have also underestimated the challenge of reinvigorating a once well-known and iconic brand that had been dormant for years.
Just recently, Ward Howell launched a private equity search practice which includes partners Asad Haider, Hank Flores, John Pothin, Mark Bradley and Sonia Prais. Collectively, the team has experience in consumer, industrial, technology, energy, luxury and Omni channel retail businesses.
Ward Howell also recently brought back Philip Lefebvre to North America as a partner in its life sciences practice group. Mr. Lefebvre, who spent the last 10 years in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, is now based in New York. He has over 20 years of experience in executive search. Prior to moving to the U.S., Mr. Lefebvre was based in Dubai, assisting in establishing Ward Howell’s presence across Asia and Africa. He helped build the firm’s life sciences practice in those regions while continuing to serve clients on a global basis.
John Pothin also recently joined the firm as a partner in Ward Howell’s consumer and industrial practices. Based in the firm’s New York office, he has over 30 years of combined business and leadership experience including several senior global leadership roles in human resources at the GTECH Corporation and at Hasbro Inc. Mr. Pothin recently served as the managing director of human resources for Patriarch Partners, a private equity firm in New York. In his time there, he placed more than 250 senior executives in leadership roles across the portfolio of companies as well as specialists within the holding company
At the end of August, the firm acquired Curran Partners, a Stamford, Conn-based executive search firm with a concentration in the life sciences, among other sectors it serves. Ward Howell also named search veteran Michael Tappan as a partner and head of corporate development for its operations in America. Mr. Tappan, who has 46 years experience in executive recruitment, is now helping to establish a U.S. board practice for the firm.
This past year, Ward Howell also added Sonia Prais as a partner in the firm’s retail, beauty & lifestyle practice group. Based in Orange County, she works out of Ward Howell’s California and New York offices. Ms. Prais brings 20 years of experience in executive search, having worked in the U.S. and across Europe and Asia with clients including Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, Topshop and Madura Garments. She has specific expertise in relocating candidates globally for clients, often to challenging geographical markets.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media