Sotheby’s strengthens its senior management under continued shareholder pressure

Dec 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Journal
Alfredo Gangotena, new marketing chief at Sotheby's

Alfredo Gangotena, new marketing chief at Sotheby’s

Under pressure from activist shareholder Dan Loeb and his Third Point hedge fund Sotheby’s continues to strengthen its senior management with the recent appointment of Alfredo Gangotena as Head of Marketing.  Until July, when he resigned, Gangotena was marketing chief of Mastercard where he had considerable success.  In a Sotheby’s press release Gangotena is described as “a veteran marketing executive with an accomplished record of creating, managing and promoting global brands.” As the chief marketing officer for the embattled auction house, Mr. Gangotena will act as “Sotheby’s brand steward and lead an integrated worldwide effort encompassing all the company’s communications platforms.” He will assume his new role in early 2014.

Sotheby’s has often been criticised for not exploiting the potential of its Global Brand and Loeb said as much in his recent critical open letter. Sotheby’s would appear to be addressing the issue with this appointment.

At MasterCard, which Art Market Monitor estimates is nearly 30 times bigger than Sotheby’s, Mr. Gangotena saw the company become “the #1 global brand in terms of ranking growth from 2009-2013, according to Millward Brown BrandZ.” Previously, Mr. Gangotena has held high-ranking jobs at Hutchison-Priceline in the Asia-Pacific region, Procter & Gamble and Disneyland Theme Park in Paris.

“We’re very happy to welcome Alfredo to Sotheby’s. He will be responsible for shaping and delivering Sotheby’s brand message globally – what we say through digital, advertising, catalogues, the press and philanthropy,” stated Chief Operating Officer Bruno Vinciguerra in the release.  “He is well-versed in strategic brand positioning that’s focused on affluent clients, has led digital efforts to drive revenue opportunities and build brand and customer engagements, and he has deep experience working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.”

According to the release, Mr. Gangotena “has had a life-long passion for art.”  This seems to be a requirement nowadays for anyone involved in the current Sotheby’s power play.  Loeb also declared he had a “passion for art” in his recent letter criticising Sotheby’s and the conduct of it’s chief, William F. Ruprecht.


Tags: Alfredo Gangotena, Dan Loeb, Mastercard, New marketing chief Sotheby's, Sotheby's management team

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