Jennifer Deason is Sotheby’s Head of Strategy & Corporate Development, a role she took arriving from Bain Capital which is the former home of Sotheby’s CFO Michael Goss. Since arrived at Sotheby’s in the Summer of 2016, now she’s expanding her role to include a team of data-based millennials.
Today, Sotheby’s announced the hiring of Richard Vibert (above, middle) who will become the firm’s big data and blockchain guru along with the acquisition of Thread Genius, a firm that provides e-commerce businesses with artificial intelligence that understands taste based on visual recognition, to bring Andrew Shum (above, left) and Ahmad Qamar (above, right), the co-founders, into the business.
“The acquisition of Thread Genius and the addition of Richard, Ahmad and Andrew to the Sotheby’s team,” Deason says, “and advance a number of initiatives related to the strategic capture and use of data to improve internal processes and provide a wider range of services to clients. We have united all of our data-related activities under one umbrella, which will accelerate innovation and provide benefits to both our internal team and our clients.”
Deason’s data stewardship builds on two events from 2016. In the first, Edouard Beneveniste was hired from Christie’s to build a database cross-referencing clients, artists and individual works. In the second, Goss and CEO Tad Smith bought the Mei Moses Index. Now those two data sets will become the substrate for an object database that the firm has been building and will now be able to try to exploit further with the help of Vibertm Shum and Qamar.