Christie's chief executive, Steven Murphy, to step down

Steven Murphy, chief executive officer of Christie's International
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Steven Murphy, chief executive officer of Christie's International

Christie's CEO, Steven Murphy, said on Tuesday that he would step down from his post at the London-based art auction house at the end of the year.

He will be succeeded by the current chairman, Patricia Barbizet.

"I have loved everything about working with the team here at Christie's and am extremely proud of what we have collectively achieved," Murphy said in a statement. "We have now successfully concluded an ambitious three-year plan, and the company is in the strongest leadership position in its history."

The news comes less than three weeks after Sotheby's CEO William Ruprecht resigned from his post after 14 years. Sotheby's said the decision was "by mutual agreement with the board."

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The news comes just weeks after Christie's netted its biggest auction results in its 248-year history, selling more than $800 million in contemporary and post-war art.

Murphy, a former executive at EMI and Disney, held the job for four years.

Murphy did not disclose his plans, other than to spend more time with his family, according to the Financial Times.