Sotheby’s Appoints Michael Goss Its New CFO

Another big change at the auction house.

Sotheby's new CFO Michael Goss.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

This morning, Sotheby’s announced it appointed Michael Goss, a former partner and managing director at Bain Capital, as its new chief financial officer. Goss, 56, will assume the role on March 28.

Goss officially replaces Patrick McClymont, who resigned abruptly this past December and received a  $3.75 million cash severance. In the interim, board member Dennis Wiebling had been serving as CFO.

Goss served as Bain’s CFO from 2001–2011, as COO from 2004–2011, and as head of global investor relations from 2012–2013. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS in economics from Kansas State University.

Analyst David Schick of Stifel, who tracks Sotheby’s overall performance, said in a report released this morning, the auction house “seems to have found what they were looking for—public company experience and an extensive background with investor communications is a plus.” He continues,  “Generally, we’d view this hire as likely to up talk (and who knows on action) around strategic options for the company. Real estate, the loan portfolio, or a sale to a trophy buyer are more likely now the CFO role has been filled.”

Shares of Sotheby’s are currently trading around $25 per share, up a notch following this morning’s news.

Schick maintains his “hold” rating on the stock.

The new appointment is the latest in a string of major changes for Sotheby’s in the past year and a half, after a shakeup by activist investor Dan Loeb that resulted in he and two other new members being appointed to the board. Following the resignation of Sotheby’s longtime CEO Bill Ruprecht in late 2014, Tad Smith, a former CEO of sports and entertainment complex Madison Square Garden, took the helm.

Last month, Sotheby’s surprised the art world by announcing it had shelled out $50 million to acquire Art Agency, Partners (AAP), the powerhouse art advisory firm formed by Allan Schwartzman and former Christie’s contemporary co-head Amy Cappellazzo. Since the news, there has already been a series of high profile departures of Sotheby’s specialists, including Impressionist head Melanie Clore, and, more recently, contemporary department head Alexander Rotter and longtime Impressionist head David Norman.

Chairman and auctioneer Henry Wyndham announced his plans to leave earlier this week.


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