NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
announced today that its Board of Directors unanimously elected Domenico De Sole as Lead Independent Director. Mr. De Sole is co-founder and Chairman of luxury retailer Tom Ford International and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci Group N.V., which he took from a nearly-bankrupt single brand to a $3 billion luxury goods conglomerate. He was elected to the Sothebys Board on July 1, 2013 with the agreement that he would begin serving on Dec. 1, 2013. This new appointment takes effect immediately.
In addition to his executive leadership positions, Mr. De Sole has served on numerous public company boards. He is a current director at Gap Inc., and Newell Rubbermaid, Inc., and a former director at The Proctor & Gamble Co., Delta Airlines, Bausch & Lomb Incorporated and Telecom Italia, among others. He is a passionate and long-time collector of contemporary art and wine.
Steven B. Dodge, who has served as Lead Independent Director since the position was created in December 2012, sought a return to the role of Director because of increased personal and family matters that are unrelated to Sothebys.
Were very excited that Domenico has joined the Board and has also agreed to serve as Lead Independent Director. He brings blue chip experience in the high-end luxury space, in Board leadership, and in strategic executive roles envisioning the future of elite brands, said Sothebys Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William F. Ruprecht. The Board is grateful for the important contributions Steve Dodge made as Lead Independent Director during this past year and feels fortunate that he will continue to provide wise and invaluable counsel as a Director.
Mr. De Sole said, Sothebys is a unique global art company with a proud tradition of nearly 300 years and equally exciting opportunities ahead. I am eager to work with Bill and the other directors to strengthen and grow the Company, serve our clients, and deliver value to our shareholders.
The Lead Independent Director is responsible for a series of leadership duties, including presiding at Executive Sessions of the non-management Directors, serving as a liaison between the Chairman and Directors, and shaping the agenda for meetings of the Board. The position was created in December, 2012 when Mr. Ruprecht was named Chairman in addition to his duties as President and CEO to ensure that Sothebys meets best practices in corporate governance.
Mr. Dodge said, It has been a particular pleasure getting to know Domenico over the past months. Im fully convinced the Company and Sothebys shareholders are going to be well served by his experience, his ideas, and his no-nonsense approach. I look forward to continuing to contribute to Sothebys as a Director and maintain my enthusiasm for the Company, its management, and its business prospects.
Mr. De Soles appointment was announced in a Sothebys 8-K filing on July 1, 2013.