Loeb Now Backs Sotheby’s CEO

Jun 12 2014 | 9:55am ET

Daniel Loeb has changed his tune on Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht.

During an ugly, months-long battle with the auction house that ended last month, Loeb repeatedly blasted Ruprecht’s “lack of leadership and strategic vision” and demanded that he step down. Now, as a member of Sotheby’s board, Loeb is standing with his fellow directors “behind the management team led by Bill Ruprecht.”

The about-face came in a letter to Sotheby’s employees signed by the company’s entire board, including Loeb and two other Third Point-picked directors. The new board was formally installed late last month, after Sotheby’s agreed to give the hedge fund three seats to avoid a proxy contest.

The memo called the new board’s first meeting “constructive and collaborative,” and said the group would meet again in August to focus “on improvements to realize Sotheby’s full potential in a highly competitive market.”

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