Chefs of the two largest auction houses resigned simultaneously Automatic translate
NEW YORK. At the very end of November, William F. Ruprecht, long-time president and CEO of Sotheby’s, announced his resignation by mutual agreement. A few days later, on December 3, it became clear that its main competitor, the head of the auction house Christie’s, made a similar statement. Steven Murphy left Christie’s after four years of work. What is the reason for such a castling of the leaders of the two most famous auction houses in the world?
58-year-old William Ruprecht will continue to perform his duties as head until the appointment of his successor. Sotheby’s press service said that the selection of the new head of the company will be handled by a specially created committee led by Domenico del Sole, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Del Sole explained that management is interested in "ensuring a smooth transition of leadership", and the new chapter should make a significant contribution to Sotheby’s future success. Ruprecht received the notice of resignation amid his many years of struggle with the largest shareholder of the company and the owner of the hedge fund, Daniel Loeb. Some time ago, Loeb accused the leadership of the auction house of incompetence and strategic shortsightedness, blaming them for reducing work efficiency. He compared the auction house with the work of an old master who needs restoration. In a response statement, William Ruprecht noted that he was proud of the achievements that had been achieved over the years, and promised to contribute to the smooth transfer of control.
Who will become Stephen Murphy’s successor as Christie’s CEO is already known. The choice fell on Patricia Barbizet (Patricia Barbizet)), which was previously the head of the London branch of the auction house. Thus, Barbize will go down in history as the first woman who managed to rise to the highest managerial position in the structure of the auction house. Billionaire François Pinault, the owner of the auction house, expressed the hope that “under the leadership of Patricia Barbize, Christie’s will be able to take a new step in its development and reach new heights."
The two mentioned auction houses are the undisputed leaders in the global art market, which over the past few years have shown good results. For example, during Sotheby’s latest auction, Old Master & British Paintings, in London, an anonymous buyer paid more than $ 47.3 million for the landscape from Rome, from Mount Aventine )) the classic British painting of William Turner (JMW Turner, 1775-1851), which is a record for the work of this artist. And in early November, the auction "Contemporary Art" (Contemporary Art), which took place in New York, brought auction house sales of $ 460.3 million. At the same time, the Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie’s showed the largest number of sales in its history - $ 852.9 million, which is more than the total house income in this segment over the course of total 2011, when collectors paid $ 834.3 million.
Anna Sidorova © Gallerix.ru
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