Savant was most recently CEO of finance company Elevate International and before that spent nine years at PayPal, latterly as vice-president, product and experience of PayPal Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, Savant worked at online marketplace ShipIQ.
Colin Tenwick, chairman of ATG Media, said Somers had been “critical to building ATG Media’s business and guiding its transformation from a publishing company to a fully tech-enabled business”.
He added the board was “fortunate to have found someone of John-Paul’s calibre and are confident he is the right leader to drive the company forward into its next phase of success”.
Somers, a 38-year veteran of ATG Media, has been working with the company on a succession plan since 2013 and will work with Savant to support him in this transition year.
Starting as subscription manager on the Gazette in 1978, Somers progressed to become commercial director in 1994 under the publication’s then parent, The Daily Mail and General Trust.
In 2008, Somers headed a management buyout and became chief executive.
She led the creation of auction portal thesaleroom.com in 2006, and the expansion of this technology to other forms of auctioneering with the launch of industrial auction site i-bidder.com in 2007 and the acquisition of its US equivalent, bidspotter.com, in 2013.
Savant, a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Chicago, said he would “work closely with Anne and the board to ensure a smooth leadership transition”.
He said he looked forward to applying his experience in the payments sector “to help our auctioneer customers by bringing more buyers to ATG Media’s portals, ensuring that the buying experience is even easier for them”.
Savant said that the internet had enabled “more people to feel that the world of art and antiques is accessible to them. This, combined with higher disposable incomes in key markets such as India and China, as well as continued demand in the UK and across Europe, make the future exciting for this industry”.
John-Paul Savant has been appointed as new ATG Media CEO, succeeding Anne Somers, the driving force behind the creation of thesaleroom.com. Photo by Phil Adams