Former Dominion Diamond CEO Robert Gannicott Dies



He headed the Canadian miner for 16 years

Robert “Bob” Gannicott, who headed Canadian diamond miner Dominion for 16 years, died Aug. 3 of leukemia. He was 69.

A geologist by training, Gannicott was a member of the company’s board since its founding as Aber in 1992. He served as company chairman from 2004 until 2016, and as CEO from 1999 until 2015. He stepped down as chairman earlier this year because of health issues.

Gannicott’s time included the acquisition, and later sale, of the iconic Harry Winston brand. After that, he purchased the Ekati mine and returned the company to its roots as a pure-play diamond miner.

“It is a sad day at Dominion,” said Brendan Bell, current CEO. “Bob Gannicott was a visionary and a pillar of the Canadian diamond industry. He built the company from the ground up, taking it from a junior mining company to what is it is today, Canada’s largest independent diamond producer. Bob was an exceptional leader as well as a good friend and mentor, he will be deeply missed by all who had the good fortune to work with him and to know him.”

In a 2013 interview, with trademark plainspokeness, Gannicott told JCK that he believed diamonds were a business for specialists.

“My view is that diamonds are a special commodity,” he said. “The only thing they have in common with iron and ore is digging the hole.”

Gannicott is survived by partner Geraldine Peacock.

(Photo courtesy of Dominion Diamond)

JCK News Director