Sebastian Cwilich has announced his departure; Who can the board attract to take over?This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
Sebastian Cwilich Steps DownIn a surprise announcement from Artsy yesterday, the company’s Chief Operating Officer is stepping down:
- “Artsy announced that co-founder Sebastian Cwilich will transition from his full-time position as Artsy’s President and COO into an advisory role, with the support of Artsy’s leadership and board. Sebastian will stay at Artsy until July in his current role, working closely with co-founder and CEO Carter Cleveland, the company’s leadership team, and the board to help recruit and onboard a new COO. Carter, who founded Artsy in 2009 and partnered with Sebastian in 2010 to launch the business in 2012, will continue as CEO. After July, Sebastian will remain actively involved with Artsy as a senior advisor and as the company’s second-largest individual shareholder.”
Positioning CwilichThe announcement of Cwilich’s departure has been carefully crafted to re-affirm Cwilich’s centrality to the business. The Art Newspaper begins its second paragraph in the story on Cwilich’s departure with “Over the past nine years, Cwilich has made many of the key decisions for Artsy…” That makes the board’s decision to release this news all the more noteworthy. They are signaling the departure of the company’s acknowledged strategic and operating head without having secured a replacement. There could be two very different reasons for this: 1) Cwilich’s departure came from a sudden decision and the company hopes to attract talent by making the search as public as possible; or 2) the board is sending signals that it would be open to an acquisition offer.
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