Christie’s Staff Exodus Continues With Contemporary Art’s Hotz

  • Lori Hotz was global head of postwar, contemporary department
  • Sales in the category fell 41% in first half of 2016

Lori Hotz, a top Christie’s executive in its postwar and contemporary art department, is leaving the auction house in the latest exodus of senior employees amid declining sales.

Hotz is scheduled to exit at the end of this month from the world’s biggest auction house by sales, she confirmed Tuesday in a phone interview. Christie’s declined to comment.

Christie’s and Sotheby’s installed new chief executive officers in the past two years. The resulting shakeup has led to key employees departing their longstanding jobs -- and in some cases heading to the competition. Both auction houses are facing sliding sales following global financial volatility.

More than 20 staffers have left Christie’s in less than two years, many from Hotz’s department. Sotheby’s also has seen the exit of top dealmakers.

Other Opportunities

“I have had a wonderful four-year run at Christie’s, where we have built a leading global postwar and contemporary art department and achieved significant growth,” Hotz said in an e-mail. “It’s now time for me to help build and develop other opportunities.”

Hotz joined Christie’s in 2012 from Lazard Wealth Management, where she was chief operating officer, as the company was pushing for market share under then-CEO Steven Murphy.

Demand for postwar and contemporary art helped push Christie’s global sales up 30 percent to a record 5.1 billion pounds ($8.4 billion) in 2014 from 3.9 billion pounds of art in 2012. Closely held Christie’s said sales fell 28 percent in the first half of the year. The dominant postwar and contemporary segment totaled 547 million pounds, down 41 percent from a year ago.

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