Bruce Cleaver, current Chief Executive of De Beers Group, will step down from the position into a new role as Co-Chairman of the company with effect from early 2023.
Anglo American, which partly owns De Beers with the Botswana government, said in a statement on Monday that Al Cook will take over as new CEO of De Beers.
Cook brings more than 25 years of international leadership experience, gained predominantly at BP and Equinor, most recently leading Equinor’s multi-billion dollar global E&P business across Africa, the Americas and Europe. He previously led Equinor’s global strategy and business development, developing the company’s net zero strategy.
Duncan Wanblad, Chief Executive of Anglo American and Chairman of De Beers Group, said: “Together with our partners in De Beers, we congratulate Al Cook on his appointment as CEO of De Beers Group following Bruce Cleaver’s decision to step back after six years to a nonexecutive role. Al Cook brings more than 25 years of international leadership experience, gained predominantly at BP and Equinor, most recently leading Equinor’s multi-billion dollar global E&P business across Africa, the Americas and Europe. He previously led Equinor’s global strategy and business development, developing the company’s net zero strategy. I believe Al’s multidisciplinary strategic skillset and strong personal conviction and values are ideally suited to the nature of De Beers, a global business that spans much of the spectrum from exploration and mining to Bond Street and Madison Avenue.”
Al Cook commented: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the company behind the world’s leading diamond brand – De Beers. I look forward to working closely with De Beers’ people, customers, governments and other stakeholders to ensure that De Beers continues to lead the industry and deliver sustainable and purpose-driven value. Throughout my career, I have been passionate about bringing enduring economic, social and environmental value to host countries and communities. I deeply recognise the importance of De Beers’ approach to responsible mining – most notably in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It is our responsibility to work with the industry on continuing to fulfil the true promise of diamonds.”
Duncan Wanblad added: “Bruce has led De Beers with distinction, evolving the Company’s strategic vision to ensure that consumers’ desire for diamond jewellery is at the very heart of decision making across the diamond pipeline, while leading a safety transformation to ensure employee safety and wellbeing are recognised as the first priority and a shared responsibility. He has successfully steered De Beers through a period of considerable change over the last six years, including leading the way through technology to provide consumers with absolute assurance of the ethical provenance of their diamonds. Bruce has successfully expanded De Beers’ horizons for the longer term and reinforced the company’s unquestioned leadership position, exemplified by De Beers’ Building Forever sustainability framework to ensure an enduring positive diamond legacy. I look forward to his contribution as Co-Chairman, ensuring the greatest continuity for the business and our partners and stakeholders.”
Bruce Cleaver said: “It has been a tremendous privilege for me to lead such an iconic company as De Beers with its rich history, great people and culture, and truly unique product offering. I would like to pay tribute to all those who have supported me along the way – including all my De Beers Group and Anglo American colleagues, the representatives of our partner governments, the De Beers Sightholder community and countless others within and outside the diamond trade. I am proud of all that we have achieved together during this period, despite the major challenges we have faced along the way. I believe the diamond industry in general, and De Beers Group in particular, have a hugely exciting future ahead and I look forward to working closely with Al and the leadership team to ensure we continue to take the business and the industry to new heights.”