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Sotheby’s announced that it has named Alexander Rotter and Cheyenne Westphal the new Global Heads of Contemporary Art. Tobias Meyer, the auction house’s former Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, stepped down at the end of November 2013. Rotter and Westphal have both been with Sotheby’s for many years -- Rotter was behind the recent sale of Andy Warhol’s ‘Silver Car Crash,’ which brought a record $104 million, and Westphal helped launch Sotheby’s new contemporary art galleries in London.

Helena Newman and Simon Shaw will helm the auction house’s department of Impressionist and Modern Art. Newman, who joined Sotheby’s in 1988, was instrumental in the February 2010 auction that netted $263.6 million, a record for a European sale. Shaw, who has worked at Sotheby’s outposts in Stockholm, Paris and London, orchestrated the 2012 sale of Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream,’ which sold for an historic price of $119.9 million, a record for a modern work of art at auction.

Daniel Loeb, a hedge fund manager who is Sotheby’s largest shareholder, recently commented on the auction house’s need to establish new leadership and more efficient operations.

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Sotheby’s announced that Tobias Meyer, who has served as the auction house’s worldwide head of contemporary art since 1997, will leave the company. Meyer joined Sotheby’s in 1992 as head of the contemporary art department in London. Rumors have swirled that Meyer’s departure was the result of pressure from Sotheby’s investors to establish new leadership and more efficient operations. Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, who owns Third Point LLC and is Sotheby’s largest shareholder, has spoken critically of the auction house’s executive compensation and supposedly waning competitive edge.

Meyer said, “I will always cherish my time at Sotheby’s and look forward to the next chapter in my career.I have had over 20 years of the most marvelous experiences at Sotheby’s where I have made many friends and had wonderful times. I wish Sotheby’s the best of luck in the future.”

The auction house said that it has no plans to fill the role of worldwide head of contemporary art. Alex Rotter will continue as the head of contemporary art in the Americas and Cheyenne Westphal as the head of contemporary art in Europe.

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