Today, Christie’s issued a statement confirming the departure of Stephen Brooks, deputy chief executive officer, from the company at the end of August. Brooks, who has been with the firm since 2009 held previous positions as chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Christie’s before being appointed to his current role.
Based in London, in 2015 Brooks began his role as deputy CEO, which included broad oversight of business operations. He is set to leave the company at a crucial moment following the marquee sales scheduled for the end of June, after several months of changes in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. During his tenure, Brooks was tasked with leading strategic internal programs across the company that included legal, financial, marketing, and e-commerce initiatives. Brooks was also a key negotiator in major deals, who in his previous role lists his title as co-chairman of Christie’s “‘War room,’ responsible for commercial aspects of all transactions over $10m,” according to his Linkedin page.
“During his tenure, Stephen has contributed to and overseen many important enhancements to the growth and progress of Christie’s,” said Guillaume Cerutti, chief executive officer in a statement. “Known for his measured, intelligent and insightful approach, Stephen has also enthusiastically supported cultural initiatives and improvements at the company. I have personally appreciated his counsel over the last three years and thank him on behalf of us all. We have been planning this transition for some time.”
The news comes following an extension of changes to the firm in the last year, including a restructuring of Christie’s Education program into a client-oriented initiative announced in November 2019, along with the coronavirus pandemic that forced staff furloughs, a swift move to online sales and a global reformatting of this season’s top grossing auctions.
“I have been planning this new chapter in my career for some time” echoes Brooks in a statement, who confirmed a new venture in transitioning to a portfolio career. Before coming to Christie’s more than a decade ago, Brooks was chief financial officer of Schroders plc, a British asset management firm and global chief financial officer at London investment bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.