Sotheby’s chief executive Bill Ruprecht has also become chairman of the company with immediate effect following Michael I. Sovern’s decision to step down after 13 years.
The unanimous vote by the board of
directors to elect Mr Ruprecht to the additional role was
accompanied by a similarly unanimous approval of Steven B. Dodge as
the lead Independent director on the board, a role he also adopts
with immediate effect.
Speaking of the changes, Mr Sovern,
who retains a seat on the board, said of Mr Ruprecht: "There is no
one more prepared and knowledgeable about Sotheby's and all that
this company represents and what it can become, so I turn this seat
over to him with great confidence in the future."
Mr Sovern became chairman of Sotheby's
in February 2000. As President Emeritus of Columbia University and
an accomplished lawyer, his leadership helped steer Sotheby's
through the antitrust scandal. With Mr Ruprecht, he oversaw the
firm's recovery to enjoy the most prosperous period since being
founded almost 270 years ago.
Mr Ruprecht has been at Sotheby's for
32 years, starting as an administrator in the rug department. He
became president and chief executive in February 2000 at the same
time as Mr Sovern's appointment.
Prior to that, he served as managing
director of Sotheby's North & South America for six
Above: Bill Ruprecht, chief executive
and now chairman of Sotheby's.