Gemfields Gets New CEO

Sean Gilbertson (pictured) has been appointed the new CEO of Gemfields, replacing Ian Harebottle, who served in the role for the last eight years.

Gilbertson’s new role is part of Pallinghurst Resources’ just-completed takeover of the gemstone miner. That takeover was criticized by Harebottle and the company’s former board for undervaluing the company.

Former chief financial officer Janet Boyce has also resigned and will be replaced by David Lovett, who has served on Gemfields’ financial team since 2008.

New CEO Gilbertson is the son of Brian Gilbertson, the veteran mining company executive who founded Pallinghurst. The elder Gilberston will now serve as chairman of Gemfields, with Pallinghurst director Arne Frasden as deputy chairman.

Pallinghurst warned that Gemfields’ debt is “at record levels,” caused by a drop in emerald production at its Kagem mine. It said it is undertaking a strategic review of the company.

One pressing issue: What to do with storied jewelry brand Fabergé, which Gemfields purchased in 2013 from Pallinghurst, then its largest shareholder. Pallinghurst has said it wants to “explore options” for the brand.

As part of the acquisition, Gemfields was delisted from the London Stock Exchange on July 28.

Also part of the company’s new board: Gemfields veterans Adrian Banks, CV Suresh, Kartikeya Parikshya, and Lovett.

(Photo courtesy of Pallinghurst)

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JCK News Director