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Abrupt exit of Christie's CEO prompts review

Heads roll as fight to lure wealthy collectors continues between Christie's and rival Sotheby's

Published Mon, Dec 8, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Paris

CHRISTIE'S International Plc's Patricia Barbizet, who was named chief executive officer last week after the surprise exit of Steven Murphy, will review options that may include a restructuring of the world's largest auction house, said people familiar with the company's plans.

French billionaire Francois Pinault brought in longtime adviser Barbizet, 59, to evaluate the future strategy of the company he took private for US$1.2 billion in 1998, said an insider who asked not to be named as the matter is private. Mr Pinault doesn't plan to sell Christie's, a spokesman for his holding company said.

Mr Murphy, 60, was informed of the management change at a meeting with Mr Pinault in late November, on…

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