In September 2010, former Rodale president Steven Murphy became the first American CEO in the history of the auction house. Now with the recent departure of William Ruprecht from Sotheby’s comes another surprise for the auction world: Murphy is resigning from the role of chief executive at Christie’s.
Christie’s confirmed this in a statement to the press: saying that ‘after four highly successful years, Steven P. Murphy will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of Christie’s at the end of the year. Patricia Barbizet will become Chief Executive Officer as well as continuing in her role as Chairman of Christie’s.’
Murphy made his own statement to the press confirming his position: “When Mr. Pinault and Madame Barbizet brought me into Christie’s, I was tasked with helping to modernise the company and enable it to grow in the new world in which we operate, while maintaining its extraordinary spirit and culture, and consistently focusing on the art itself. We have now successfully concluded an ambitious three year plan and the company is in the strongest leadership position in its history,” Murphy continued. “I have loved everything about working with the team here at Christie’s and am extremely proud of what we have collectively achieved.”
In a further statement Patricia Barbizet commented: “We are extremely grateful to Steven for his vision, leadership and commitment to Christie’s since he joined in 2010. During his tenure Christie’s has assumed a truly leading position, with sales and profits at their highest ever levels. Over this period the company ventured into new markets in India and China, launched successful online auction sales and positioned itself at the forefront of the digital transformation in the art market.”
“Having completed this core work, the company is positioned for its next phase of development and I look forward to leading the global team into a new chapter of innovation and excellence as we take Christie’s to the next level.”