MSG President and CEO resigns; takes same roles at Sotheby's

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden President and CEO Tad Smith has resigned to take on the same roles at auction house Sotheby's.

Smith has served as president and CEO of Madison Square Garden since March 2014. The 49-year-old executive oversaw all aspects of the company, including overall strategy and day-to-day operations of MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment. Smith spent five years at Cablevision Systems Corp. before joining Madison Square Garden Co.

MSG Sports owns and runs the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, the New York Liberty, the Westchester Knicks and the Hartford Wolf Pack. MSG Media's television networks include MSG Network, MSG+ and regional sports networks. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and presents various live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, concerts and special events.

Smith will remain with Madison Square Garden until the end of the month. The New York company said Monday that it is starting an immediate search for a successor. Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan will oversee MSG's activities in the interim, getting assistance from the company's senior management team.

At Sotheby's, Smith will succeed William F. Ruprecht in the CEO and president posts. He will also become a board member.

Sotheby's had announced in November that Ruprecht would step down once a successor was found. The auction house has been under pressure to change by Third Point LLC, Daniel Loeb's hedge fund. Loeb joined the New York company's board last year.

Sotheby's said Monday that it will separate the CEO and chairman roles. Its board elected lead independent director Domenico De Sole to succeed Ruprecht as chairman.

Sotheby's Class A shares rose 46 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $40.99 in afternoon trading Monday. Class A shares of Madison Square Garden Co. fell $1.19, or 1.5 percent, to $77.