Sotheby’s New CEO Tad Smith Has $7M Pay Package—$1M More Than Ruprecht

Despite talk of cost-cutting, Smith gets a hefty new pay package.

Sotheby's CEO Tad Smith. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

Amid all the talk of cost-cutting and better corporate governance at Sotheby’s, the world’s oldest auction house, SEC filings show that the new CEO Tad Smith has snagged a $7.2 million annual pay package, $1 million more than his predecessor Bill Ruprecht, who was awarded $6.04 million in compensation in 2013. (See Sotheby’s Names Tad Smith As New CEO—He Was Former President of MSG).

Ruprecht announced his resignation in November after a lengthy battle with activist shareholder Dan Loeb, who eventually won three seats on the board, including one for himself. (See Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht Pushed Out and Dan Loeb Triumphs, Will Join Sotheby’s Board).

According to the SEC filing, an 8-K form filed March 18, Smith will receive $1.4 million in base salary and his “target annual bonus opportunity will be 200 percent of his annual base salary,” (so, the bonus, alone, will potentially be $2.8 million) and stock awards that are worth at least $3 million.

By comparison, Ruprecht’s 2013 compensation included a base salary of $700,000, a $1.7 million bonus, and stock awards valued at $3.4 million, according to Seeking Alpha.

According to the SEC filing outlining the stock portion of Smith’s compensation, “The Agreement provides Mr. Smith with certain compensation from the Company that is intended to replace incentive and other compensation opportunities that Mr. Smith lost by leaving his employment with MSG.”

The Sotheby’s filing also said that the stock awards are part of an “incentive for him to improve the value of the Company’s common stock.”





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