Sotheby’s Auction House Chief to Step Down

William F. Ruprecht, the chief executive of the auction house Sotheby's, will step down, the company confirmed on Thursday, a little more than a year after the billionaire activist Daniel S. Loeb compared Sotheby's "to an old master painting in desperate need of restoration'' and called for sweeping changes.

The company said that Mr. Ruprecht was stepping down "by mutual agreement.''

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Mr. Ruprecht, 58, who has led the company for the last 14 years, had been under fire during the battle with Mr. Loeb that lasted for months. Its board, which now includes Mr. Loeb, has been considering changes to the company's leadership since August, people briefed on the matter said.