De Beers CEO Mellier Resigns, Bruce Cleaver Takes Over

Cleaver served as interim co-CEO prior to Mellier’s appointment

Philippe Mellier, the former transportation executive who has led De Beers since 2011, is leaving the company as of July 1. He will be replaced by Bruce Cleaver (pictured), a veteran De Beers executive now with parent company Anglo American.

Cleaver served as interim co-CEO prior to Mellier’s appointment and was also De Beers’ executive director responsible for strategy and commercial relationships. He left De Beers in November 2015 to join Anglo American as group director of strategy and business development.

Like his predecessor Gareth Penny, Mellier was in the role for five years.

“I have been privileged to lead such an iconic company as De Beers with its rich history, great people and culture, and truly unique product offering,” Mellier said in a statement. “As I committed at the outset in 2011, I envisaged a five-year plan with the team and the board to reset De Beers on its current path. Having steered through some of the diamond industry’s toughest times and with the market showing signs of recovery, now is the right time for me to pass the baton to the next generation.”

Mark Cutifani, CEO of De Beers parent Anglo American, hailed Mellier for leading De Beers “with great agility…navigat[ing] through structural change and considerable market volatility over the last five years, while cementing De Beers’ unquestioned leadership position.”

Cleaver said that he was “honored” to step into his new role.

“Diamonds are as relevant to today’s consumers, all over the world, as they were to their parents and their parents before them,” he said. “Diamonds have also made positive contributions to a host of countries that have used their revenues wisely, to communities, and to all who have been touched by their mystique and the practical benefits of responsible mining and ethical sourcing. As the world continues to evolve ever more rapidly, it is our task to ensure that we remain as relevant as we are today and to grow our position in the luxury world.”

For analysis, see Philippe Says Adieu: The Change at De Beers and What It Means.

(Photo courtesy of De Beers)

JCK News Director