New De Beers Chief Calls for Trade Collaboration

Bruce Cleaver

Gaborone: Bruce Cleaver, the new chief executive officer of De Beers, underlined the importance of partnerships in tackling the diamond sector’s challenges in his first public statement since taking over.

The industry’s ability to collaborate is one of the reasons it has been so resilient, said Cleaver who replaced the outgoing CEO Philippe Mellier from July 1.

“Partnerships have secured our past successes,” Cleaver wrote in a blog post. “Partnerships are the cornerstone of the business. And partnerships will define our future.

“De Beers holds a unique position with consumers, our rough diamond customers, governments, communities and retailers. And with each of these groups, we must recognize that it is not just what we do that matters, but also how we do it.”

Calling on the industry to work together in the face of uncertainty, he said members of the trade must be willing to change.

“We must be bolder and braver, broaden our horizons, and accept that solutions to the sector’s challenges may lie outside of it, such as in supply chain efficiencies and marketing strategies.”

Volatility in the global political and economic environment is “the new normal,” Cleaver warned.