The CEO of Sotheby’s, William Ruprecht has resigned and will step down from the post as son as a successor has been found. Ruprecht, 58, has been the CEO and Chairman of Sotheby’s for 14 years and the decision is by a mutual agreement according to an announcement by Sotheby’s recently.
“The board is focused on ensuring a smooth transition that will facilitate Sotheby’s continued success,” Domenico De Sole, the board’s lead independent director who is heading the search committee, said in the statement. “We are moving with a sense of urgency but we will take the time we need to find the right leader for Sotheby’s.”
This follows a closed in fight with the billionaire investor Daniel Loeb over the past few months resulting in Loeb, Founder of Third Point LLC and two of his candidates were appointed to the Sotheby’s Board of Directors. Third Point is the third largest shareholder of Sotheby’s with over 6.5 million shares and a 9.64 percent holding.
It seems evident that major disagreements on policy direction are the reason for the abrupt change in leadership.
Sotheby’s are now actively seeking a replacement more in line with their Boards policy.
Shares, at the time of writing, sit at $42.95. A 9.4 percent risde after declining 10.7 percent this year.