Calling management and the board "reactive not
visionary," Loeb said that Third Point's demands have led to a
review of strategy and business practices, hiring of a new chief
financial officer and reconsideration of capital allocation
policies. Without "continued collaboration, progress will
stall," he wrote.
The company said in a statement that "under the stewardship of
Sotheby's board and management team, Sotheby's has delivered
strong financial performance and superior shareholder returns,
outperforming all relevant indices over the past one, five and
ten year periods." The company added that it does not think Loeb
has made a case that "change is warranted at Sotheby's."
Sotheby's annual meeting is on May 6 and they can choose between
Loeb and Harry Wilson and Olivier Reza or for the company's
slate which includes John Angelo and Jessica Bibliowicz.
Loeb complained that board members do not own enough stock in
the company and thereby don't have enough skin in the game. He
said the company has failed to articulate its brand and spends
too much money, including on CEO compensation of between $6
million and $7 million a year. The CEO's perks, including an
annual $25,000 automobile allowance and country club dues, "are
throwbacks to a bygone era," Loeb wrote.
Loeb, one of Wall Street's most closely watched investors, last
won board seats at Yahoo which allowed him to hand pick current
the current CEO and remake the company.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss;
editing by David Gregorio)
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