Tim Goodman steps down from Sotheby's Australia - Art Collector

17 January 2011 | After acquiring the rights to trade under the Sotheby’s Australia name in late 2009, auctioneer Tim Goodman has announced he is selling up and retiring from his position as chairman of the company.

Five senior Sotheby’s Australia staff have purchased Second East Auction Holdings, the holding company that owns the rights to use the Sotheby’s Australia name. Each has taken on an equal 20 per cent stake in the business as well as directorship on the board.

Goodman, former head of Sotheby’s rival auction house Bonhams & Goodman, acquired the licence to Sotheby’s Australia in September 2009, dissolving the relationship with the London-based Bonhams not long after.

At the time he told
Australian Art Collector “I could leap in the air like the ad,” adding that he had dreamed of acquiring Sotheby’s for “a long period of time, I don’t want to disclose how long”.

Since then, fine art sales held by Sotheby’s Australia, particularly of Indigenous art, have failed to hit expectations.

Commenting on the retirement, Goodman told the
Sydney Morning Herald: ''It was time, and it's a smart man who knows when it's time to make a change. So many people leave it too long.”

Goodman will continue to work with Sotheby’s Australia as an adviser and auctioneer. He will be replaced by Geoffrey Smith, the current vice chairman and national head of art, who joined the auction industry in 2006 after 16 years at the National Gallery of Victoria as curator of Australian art.

Smith paid tribute to Goodman, commenting: “I wish to personally acknowledge the leadership and vision of Tim Goodman, who has been an inspiring colleague and mentor for the past four years.”

There will be no immediate change to the operation of the company.

Jane O'Sullivan

Above: Tim Goodman photographed by Sonny Vandevelde for Australian Art Collector in 2011.

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