The New York Times’s Dealbook is reporting that Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht has confirmed that he will relinquish his position:
Mr. Ruprecht, 58, who has led the company for the last 14 years, had been under fire during the battle with Mr. Loeb that lasted for months. Its board, which now includes Mr. Loeb, has been considering changes to the company’s leadership since August, people briefed on the matter said.
Here’s Sotheby’s release:
Ruprecht, who has served as CEO since 2000, will continue as Chairman, President and CEO until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition.
The Board has formed a Search Committee to oversee the recruiting of a new CEO and has retained Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search firm, to assist in the process. The Committee is led by Domenico De Sole, Lead Independent Director.
Mr. De Sole said, “The Board is focused on ensuring a smooth transition that will facilitate Sotheby’s continued success. As we move to new leadership, the Board is sharply focused on upholding the world-class standard of excellence that Sotheby’s has long represented to our clients and achieving Sotheby’s full long-term potential for the benefit of our shareholders. We are moving with a sense of urgency but we will take the time we need to find the right leader for Sotheby’s at this critical juncture in its continuing evolution.”
Mr. De Sole continued, “We are deeply grateful to Bill Ruprecht for his long and exemplary service to Sotheby’s and how he has successfully guided the Company through serious challenges into an era of significant growth and development. Under Bill’s leadership, the Sotheby’s brand has never been stronger, and he has built the Company’s business to include branded private gallery sales, an expanding art-related finance business, retail wine and jewelry sales, global education programs, and an innovative online presence. My fellow Directors and I salute Bill’s unwavering dedication and the many significant contributions he has made to Sotheby’s for more than three decades, and we appreciate his willingness to assist in effecting a smooth transition.”
Mr. Ruprecht said, “I have had the privilege of working with so many talented and dedicated colleagues at Sotheby’s, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished together. This is an exciting time for this great Company, as we continue to capitalize on robust global demand in our salesrooms and increasingly online. The last few years have been the most successful in the Company’s history. I am comfortable and confident saying Sotheby’s is well positioned for the next chapter of its success, and I will do all I can to contribute to a smooth leadership transition.”
Sotheby’s Chief to Step Down (NYTimes.com)