Home Magazine Big changes at Sotheby's!

Last month we left Sotheby's Auction with the appointment of Charles F. Stewart as CEO undertaking the position of Tad Smith. Now, following the company's reorganization the Veteran Amy Cappellazzo has been assigned as a head of an Expanded Global Fine Arts Division. 

Related articles: Latest from Sotheby's: a new CEO and a new record in less than one month!

The new chief executive Charles Stewart announced last week that he is reorganising the auction house into two global divisions—Fine Arts and Luxury, Art and Objects. Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of Sotheby’s current Fine Art division —which includes contemporary, Impressionist, Modern British and Latin American art— will also oversee Old Master and 19th-century paintings and drawings, as well as prints and photographs. In 2014 Cappellazzo together with Allan Schwartzman founded the advisory firm Art Agency which was acquired by Sotheby’s in 2016 for $85m.


Charles Stewart. Courtesy Sotheby's


The new CEO also have new plans for the luxury department, that treats goods like jewellery, watches, wine, 20th-century design, Asian art, books and decorative art. In fact, a new division is also planned for this area because according to Stewart we are talking about what will be in future the "key growth areas" for the company. In this regard, Sotheby's launched its own wine label in October, while Wenhao Yu was appointed the vice president of jewellery in Asia earlier this month.

It is clear that the auction house is seeing new and important changes since October 2019, when the owner Patrick Drahi placed Stewart as his right-hand man. It is enough if we think that only in the last month during this reorganization between 20/30 senior executives were fired,  in an attempt to "reduce the existing silos between fine arts, commercial development and regional organizations," says Stewart. In short... Bye-Bye to the old welcome to the new!

Among those that have left are Valentino Carlotti, the head of business development; chief transformation officer Ken Citron; senior vice president Jon Auerbach; Jan Prasens, the executive vice president and managing director of Europe and the Middle East; general counsel Jon Olsoff; chief global compliance counsel Jane Levine; Karen Sutton, the executive vice president, and August Uribe, who joined Sotheby’s in 1991 and was most recently head of the Impressionist and Modern art department and vice chairman of the fine arts division in New York. What will the next auction house investments be? Stewart points out that "live auctions will always remain at the centre of our business", but notes that "the [luxury] division categories have an important opportunity to further develop new sales channels, including markets, e-commerce and even to detail, putting us on the road to future growth ”.

Cover image: Amy Cappellazzo. Courtesy Sotheby's

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