Auction house Sotheby’s has announced the appointment of Charles F. Stewart as chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Stewart succeeds Tad Smith, who has served as chief executive officer of Sotheby’s since 2015. Smith, however, will become a shareholder of the company and act as a senior advisor to the new boss.

The news comes just several months after the company returned to private ownership in a £2.95bn deal.


The new CEO joins Sotheby’s from cable television provider, Altice USA, one of the many telecommunications companies Sotheby’s now-owner, Patrick Drahi, owns outright or has major stakes in.

At Altice US, Stewart has served as co-president and chief financial officer since 2016. He assumed the role at Altice USA following more than two decades of operations, financial and corporate leadership experience in the U.S Latin America and Europe, most recently as CEO of Itau BBA International plc. Prior to that, he spent 19 years at Morgan Stanley as an investment banker in various leadership and client-facing roles, based in New York, Brazil and London.

Sotheby’s owner, Patrick Drahi, comments on the new appointment: “Charlie is a talented executive who brings years of international experience to Sotheby’s.  I have known him for many years and have been impressed by his appetite for innovation, taking smart risks, and challenging the status quo.  He has a proven record of driving growth and is ideally positioned to create value for Sotheby’s clients and our outstanding team.  I also want to thank Tad Smith for his leadership over the past four and a half years. Sotheby’s reached a new level of success during his tenure and I am delighted we will continue to benefit from his experience in an advisory capacity.”

The new chief exec adds: “I am thrilled to be joining such a successful and storied organization. Sotheby’s is renowned throughout the world for deep expertise, trusted relationships, and a long history of innovation.  I look forward to adding my expertise to the talented global team and building on the success that has been established over nearly three centuries.”