De Beers Says Goodbye to DTC, Appoints New Chairman

DTC sightholders will now call themselves “De Beers sightholders,” because of a new corporate realignment from De Beers.

“We believe it strengthens the De Beers brand to give everything one name,” says spokeswoman Lynette Gould. “Across our organization, there has been a proliferation of sub-brands over many years…. [That] has left us with too many diverse brands that only serve to dilute De Beers’ leadership position and deprive each business unit of the full value of the corporate brand.”

But, she adds, “This is not happening overnight. Sightholders don’t have to rush out and do this big rebranding exercise.”

This change was spurred partly by a strategic review led by consulting firm McKinsey and Co., Gould says.

The widespread adoption of the DTC sightholder label dates back to the implementation of the Supplier of Choice policy in 2000, when the company phased out the name Central Selling Organisation, in part because it carried connotations of a cartel. 

De Beers’ subsidiary Diamdel will also change its name to De Beers auction sales. The DTC will be rebranded De Beers sightholder sales, and remain under the leadership of Varda Shine. Also getting new names are De Beers Consolidated Mines (its South African division), De Beers Marine, De Beers Canada, and DebTech.

DTC Botswana and DTC Namibia will not change their names, however. This will also not affect the name of De Beers’ two consumer brands, the Forevermark and retail chain De Beers Diamond Jewellers, or of its industrial diamond division, Element Six.

In a letter to sightholders, Shine called the name change “subtle but important. [It] serves as an unambiguous signal to the industry that we are one company with one focus, and that our Sightholders are an integral part of such focus.”

She also hinted that the company will become more consumer-focused.

“For years we have thought of the consumer as the end of the diamond pipeline—with an industry driving their demand without fully allowing their demand to drive us,” she wrote. “In fact, for De Beers, the reality of a far more competitive landscape is that the consumer must stand at the beginning of our pipeline.”

De Beers also announced that Cynthia Carroll, the current CEO of Anglo-American, will now become the chairman of De Beers. In July, Anglo, traditionally De Beers’ sister company, completed a transaction to become De Beers’ 85 percent owner.

News of the rebranding first appeared in Diamond Intelligence Briefs.