Anglo American announces the appointment of Bruce Cleaver as CEO of the De Beers Group following Philippe Mellier’s decision to step down after five years. Duncan Wanblad, CEO of Anglo American’s Base Metals business, will add the Strategy & Business Development portfolio of Anglo American to his responsibilities. Both appointments will take effect on 1 July 2016.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American and Chairman of De Beers, said: "Together with our partners in De Beers, we congratulate Bruce Cleaver on his appointment as CEO of De Beers following Philippe Mellier's decision to step down. Bruce's leadership of De Beers' strategy and its commercial and government relationships working alongside Philippe and over much of the last decade, combined with his time working with us to shape the new Anglo American strategy, provide strong continuity at an important stage in the diamond market's recovery.”
“The structural dynamics of the diamond market continue to improve, led by the strength of consumer demand for diamond jewellery. With the proven management team in place, De Beers is well positioned to maximise value for all its stakeholders across the diamond value chain” Mark adds.
"Duncan Wanblad is the natural successor to our Strategy & Business Development work, in addition to his existing Base Metals responsibilities which include Copper as one of our major areas of focus. His experience leading two of our three core businesses and his critical role in streamlining the Group’s other mining and industrial interests position him well to shape our longer term opportunities. This is a further step in our consolidation of the senior team, following the creation of the Bulk Commodities group under Seamus French” Mark adds more.
Bruce Cleaver commented: “I am honoured to be asked to lead one of the world’s great companies. Diamonds are as relevant to today’s consumers, all over the world, as they were to their parents and their parents before them. 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.”
“I look forward to working closely with all of our key customers, governments and other stakeholders to ensure that De Beers continues to lead the industry into a new and exciting phase. My sincere thanks to Philippe – his innovative thinking, constant questioning of the status quo and desire to advance the agenda has benefited all of us, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him” Bruce added.
Mark Cutifani said additionally: “Philippe has led De Beers with great agility, transforming the Company’s strategic and operational mindset with a strong customer focus to ensure that consumer desire for diamond jewellery is at the very heart of decision making across the diamond pipeline. He has navigated through structural change and considerable market volatility over the last five years, while cementing De Beers’ unquestioned leadership position. We wish him all the very best in his future endeavours."
Philippe Mellier said: "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. 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 are the right time for me to pass the baton to the next generation. I have worked closely with Bruce Cleaver throughout and I have no doubt about his abilities and experience to lead De Beers on the next stage of its journey as the world’s leading Diamond Company.”
Bruce Cleaver served as De Beers’ executive director responsible for strategy and commercial relationships until 2015, also serving as Co-Acting CEO for a year prior to Philippe Mellier’s appointment in 2011. He was appointed Group Director of Strategy and Business Development for Anglo American in 2015.