Sotheby’s Chief Operating Officer Chinn Steps Down

Adam Chinn (pictured) has stepped down as Sotheby’s chief operating officer, as the auction house announced plans to split his role between two new hires.

A former lawyer and investment banker, Chinn first joined Sotheby’s  in 2016, following its purchase of Art Agency, Partners, where he served as a partner. He was promoted to the role of Sotheby’s chief operating officer last year.

With Chinn’s departure, Sotheby’s is eliminating the role of chief operating officer and is divvying up its responsibilities between two positions.

Ken Citron, who for five years served as chief operating officer for rival auctioneer Christie’s, will come on board as Sotheby’s new executive vice president, operations, as well as its chief transformation officer.

He has worked with Sotheby’s as a consultant since the fall.

A press release credits Citron for leading a “digital transformation” at Christie’s when he worked for the auction house from 2012 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Citron has also worked at Rodale Inc. and Sony Music.

“Ken’s proven track record in operations and technology, combined with his deep understanding of the specific requirements of our industry, will help us elevate every aspect of what we do,” said Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith in a statement.

The company also announced that it was appointing John Cahill to be its chief commercial officer.

Cahill joins Sotheby’s from his law firm, Cahill Cossu Noh & Robinson, which specializes in the art industry. As chief commercial officer, he will oversee Sotheby’s’ dealmaking with clients as well as its lending business, Sotheby’s Financial Services.

“John’s experience and in particular his visibility into the sophisticated inner workings of the transactional side of the art world positions him well to continue our focus on superior dealmaking and the right commercial decisions for our company,” said Smith.

Earlier this year, Sotheby’s appointed Sam Hines as the worldwide head of its watch division.

(Image via: LinkedIn)

JCK News Director