Sotheby's Names William F. Ruprecht Chairman of the Board of Directors in
Addition to His Role as President and Chief Executive Officer
Michael I. Sovern to Remain on Board After 13 Years of Invaluable Service as
Steven B. Dodge Unanimously Appointed Lead Independent Director of Sotheby's
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) today
announced that the Board of Directors unanimously elected William F. Ruprecht
Chairman of the Board of Directors, a role he will assume in addition to his
current duties as President and Chief Executive Officer. Michael I. Sovern,
who has served as Chairman of the Board for 13 years, will remain on the
Board.Steven B. Dodge was unanimously approved by the Board as Lead
Independent Director.The appointments are effective immediately.
"Serving as Chairman of the Board at Sotheby's has been an extraordinary
privilege," said Mr. Sovern. "We have accomplished a great deal together and I
am very proud of the standard of excellence Sotheby's represents today in the
art world and, most importantly, with our clients.We are extremely fortunate
that Bill Ruprecht can step seamlessly into the role as Chairman. The Board
and I have been contemplating my decision to step down as Chairman for about a
year now and we looked both internally and externally at suitable structures
and candidates.Bill is clearly the best long-term choice for Sotheby's and
its shareholders.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 began his tenure as Chairman of Sotheby's in February 2000.As
President Emeritus of Columbia University, he brought a distinguished
reputation as an accomplished lawyer, scholar and educational leader to the
Sotheby's Board at a critical period.Mr. Sovern's leadership and integrity
helped steer Sotheby's successfully through its antitrust matter and its two
class capital structure and enabled the Company to enjoy the most prosperous
period in its almost 270 year history.
Mr. Ruprecht assumes the role of Chairman today after a 32-year career at
Sotheby's that has taken him from an administrator's post in the Rug
department to head of a global organization that has reached $6 billion in
sales and operates in 40 countries, with clients from 95 nations and principal
salesrooms in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong.
Mr. Ruprecht was named President and CEO in February 2000 at the same time Mr.
Sovern was appointed Chairman. Prior to that, Mr. Ruprecht served as Managing
Director of Sotheby's North & South America for six years.During his tenure
as President and CEO, Sotheby's has increased its global focus on top clients
and the high end of the business as well as 'emerging' markets – whether in
Asia, the Middle East, Russia or Latin America.The Company, under his
leadership, has also seen an expansion in art-related financing, private sales
of major works of art and in its digital presence as Sotheby's strives to
build client loyalty through innovation and impeccable service.
"This is an exciting and challenging time in the world and at Sotheby's. I
accept this appointment with gratitude and humble thanks to the Board and to
Michael for all he has done, especially the sterling example of leadership
that I and all future chairs will call upon," said Mr. Ruprecht. "I am deeply
appreciative of the senior leadership at Sotheby's. Their collective
strengths, intelligence, amazing passion and commitment to this business are
the ingredients that make this a unique and superb organization."
Mr. Dodge today assumes a role that is new to the Sotheby's Board, although he
is a veteran of Company leadership, having served as a Director from 2000 to
2007.Mr. Dodge is the CEO and principal of a private real estate development
and construction company, Windover Development LLC, and for almost a decade,
until 2004, he served as Chairman of the Board of American Tower Corporation
and as President and Chief Executive Officer of that company until 2003.Prior
to American Tower, Mr. Dodge served as the Chairman, President, and CEO of
American Radio Systems Corporation.
In his role as Lead Independent Director, Mr. Dodge is responsible for a
series of leadership duties, including presiding at Executive Sessions of the
non-management directors, serving as a liaison between the Chairman and the
directors, and shaping the agendas for meetings of the Board. The position
was created to ensure that Sotheby's meets the highest standards of
contemporary corporate governance.Mr. Dodge said, "Sotheby's will continue to
be committed to the highest level of transparency and Board independence on my
watch, as currently evidenced by the fact that only one of our twelve Board
members is from Management."
Mr. Ruprecht applauded the selection of Mr. Dodge, saying, "Steve Dodge is a
superb choice as Lead Independent Director and has a proven track record of
building organizations and developing talent. He is an effective and
independent Director, a true consensus builder, and I very much look forward
to working with him in his new role as Lead Independent Director."
Sotheby's is a global company that engages in art auction, private sales and
art-related financing activities.The Company operates in 40 countries, with
principal salesrooms located in New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris.The
Company also regularly conducts auctions in six other salesrooms around the
world.Sotheby's is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol
BID.For information, please visit www.sothebys.com/.
This release contains certain "forward-looking statements" (as such term is
defined in the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) relating to
future events and the financial performance of the Company.Such statements
are only predictions and involve risks and uncertainties, resulting in the
possibility that the actual events or performances will differ materially from
such predictions.Major factors, which the Company believes could cause the
actual results to differ materially from the predicted results in the
"forward-looking statements" include, but are not limited to, the overall
strength of the international economy and financial markets, political
conditions in various nations, competition with other auctioneers and art
dealers, the success of our risk reduction and margin improvement efforts, the
amount of quality property being consigned to art auction houses and the
marketability at auction of such property.Please refer to our most recently
filed Form 10-Q (and/or 10-K) for a complete list of Risk Factors.
CONTACT: Press Department
212 606 7176
212 894 1023
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.