Adam Chinn will leave Sotheby’s on December 31st, as the auction house decided to eliminate his position of chief operating officer, a role typically involving oversight of daily operations. Chinn joined Sotheby’s in January of 2016 when it acquired Art Agency, Partners, the boutique art advisory firm founded by Allan Schwartzman and Amy Cappellazzo, in which Chinn was a partner. He was made Sotheby’s chief operating officer in February of 2017. The auction house announced his departure in a report filed on Monday, in which it revealed it will be “implementing related organizational changes.”
Two new hires, both of whom will start in January and report directly to Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith, will replace Chinn. John Cahill, an attorney for a firm that has previously represented Sotheby’s, will come on as executive vice president, chief commercial officer. And Ken Citron, a former chief operating officer at Christie’s who recently joined Sotheby’s as a consultant, will become the auction house’s executive vice president, operations and chief transformation officer.
Chinn was influential during his time at Sotheby’s in promoting the use of guarantees —whereby an auction house guarantees a consignor that their work will achieve a specified minimum price, which can be made higher through a third-party guarantee (usually another collector, an advisor, investor, or gallery).