What’s Ed Dolman trying to say in this NY Times interview? He starts with strategy statement for Phillips that is essentially a repeat of the Phillips De Pury & Luxembourg motto—circa 1999—that the firm would only run sales in the profitable departments.
Dolman added that “We are opening a salesroom in Geneva. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see us in some shape or form in Hong Kong.”
Queried about the departure of his former rival at Sotheby’s and his successor at Christie’s—the man whose appointment made his position at the firm obsolete—Dolman mostly demurs. But he can’t stay out of it. And, presuming Dolman remains close with some of his former employees at Christie’s, he points us toward the online sales as the reason for Murphy’s sudden defenestration.
Why do you think the chief executives of Christie’s and Sotheby’s decided to step down?
I don’t know, and I can’t speak for them at all. I think Bill Ruprecht had been at the helm of Sotheby’s for a long time. With Steven Murphy, he came in from the outside. There is something to be said for mixing the gene pool, but the auction business is a tough place to establish credibility if you are not versed in it. He was very keen on developing online sales. Perhaps we should look there.
Chairman of Phillips Sees Major Changes in Auctions (NYTimes.com)