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After the abrupt resignation of its former Chief Executive Officer Stephen Brooks last Month, PhillipsEd Dolman has been reinstated as the head of the auction house. Dolman will take on a newly-created position that combines his current role with the CEO position.
Phillips has had to reorganize its executive staff in light of the departure. Amanda Lo Iacono, who for the past two years has overseen the houses’s 20th century and contemporary art departments across New York, London, and Shanghai, has been appointed to the newly created role of deputy chief executive officer. Cheyenne Westphal will continue to be the global chairwoman. She is based in London.
Dolman stepped down as the house’s CEO in 2021 and subsequently joined a corporate board that oversees decisions related to finance and operations. Having held executive positions at the Qatar Museums and Christie’s, he led Phillips, the smallest of the big three auction houses, through a period of intense growth that began in 2014. Notably, he raised the house’s profile, with its specialists increasing their focus on buzzy emerging painters.
The latest change in leadership comes after Phillips has faced a number of challenges in the past year, as it navigated through a more challenging economic climate. The house saw global auction sales drop by 15 percent from 2022 to 2023.
In October, Phillips’s board decided against paying dividends to its holding company, the Russian-owned Mercury Group, after reporting revenue losses from UK sales in 2022.
In a recent statement, I called for the government to take immediate action. ARTnews, Phillips representative attributed Brooks’s resignation to a “personal” matter that was unrelated to downtrending sales or financial losses.
Dolman praised Lo Iacono’s leadership, describing it as “instrumental” to recent growth the company has seen. Dolman stated that Phillips will have more opportunities in the next year to expand their footprint. Lo Iacono echoed the sentiment, expressing confidence about the house’s future.