CEO of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s steps down after 26 years

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CEO of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s steps down after 26 years
Patricia Petersen and Deirdre O'Connell (Photo courtesy of Daniel Gale Sotheby's)

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty announced last week that President and CEO Patricia Petersen would step down from the latter position, one she has held for more than 26 years.

Deirdre O’Connell has filled the position of CEO, while Petersen will remain as president and chairman of the board.

Petersen joined Daniel Gale Sotheby’s in 1974 as a sales associate. After working in several managerial roles with the company, she was installed as president and CEO in 1991. The organization has 27 offices and more than 900 sales agents, and rang up $3.3 billion in sales in 2017.

“Pat has been an integral part of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand since its inception,” Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, said in a statement. “Her foresight and keen business acumen grew Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty into the formidable force it is today.”

O’Connell said she learned a lot from Petersen.

“About a year ago she asked me to share her office with her, which was a little intimidating at first, although she’s not an intimidating person,” O’Connell said. “She wanted to show me how she approaches the day-to-day, how she manages. She manages from a strategic perspective and with her heart. She always has managed this company as an extended family, and I want to continue.”

O’Connell joined Daniel Gale Sotheby’s in 2007 when she sold her real estate agency to the company. She ran the Manhasset office, which ranked as Daniel Gale Sotheby’s No. 1 office for four straight years under her leadership.

She said that she has been part of corporate for more than a year and has been leading sales for even longer, but was excited to be named CEO.

O’Connell takes over a company that has been growing rapidly in recent years. She said her goal is to have the company expand even farther, particularly in Nassau County. She said Daniel Gale Sotheby’s is planning to open an office in Great Neck, which the company “jumped over” when it got into the Queens market. She also wanted to extend to the county’s southern shore.

“Currently, Rockville Centre is the furthest south we have an office, and the South Shore has great opportunities,” she said.

But in addition to growing the company, O’Connell said it was her priority to maintain the family-like culture that Petersen had developed throughout her tenure.

I think that the biggest challenge we have is continuing to keep our culture,” she said. “It’s easy to keep a close-knit, family-type culture when you have a small company, but it’s a little more of a challenge when you’ve been growing pretty quickly, as we have.”

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