Christie’s International PLC announced a management shuffle this morning, installing a new CEO, Steven Pleshette Murphy, the first American to occupy the position. He will relocate to London, where Christie’s is headquartered.
Edward Dolman, Christie’s CEO for the past decade, has been named chairman and will focus on business development and client relations. “After ten good years, I thought it was time to look for new talent,” said Dolman in an interview. “We were looking for the best leadership to take full P & L responsibility for the firm.”
Both Dolman and Murphy report to Patricia Barbizet, CEO of Artemis, which owns Christie’s.
Murphy, a seasoned CEO, is an art world newcomer. He has experience in the publishing and music industries, fields where the Internet has recently hammered profits.
He served as president and CEO of the health-oriented publisher Rodale Inc. from 2002 until 2009. Rodale’s magazine titles include Organic Gardening, Runner’s World and Men’s Health.
Previously that he was an executive vice president for Disney Publishing Worldwide and ran a record label group at EMI music from 1991 to 1998.
“For me, my whole career has been essentially about building environments for creative people to succeed,” he told Art Market Views this morning in an interview. He will focus on building Christie’s presence in Asia and other new markets and developing others means of selling, he said. “So much growth is available in this market. It’s just a matter of time,” said Murphy.
Dolman was appointed CEO in 1999. He has been with the company for 26 years. He was previously managing director of Christie’s Europe. He joined Christies’s in 1984 with a specialty in European furniture.