Following the resignation of Gareth Penny from both his positions as De Beers’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Debswana Board of Directors Chairman, Debswana has found a replacement in Nicky Oppeinhemeir. According to a statement by Ester Kanaimba, the Group Manager for Public and Corporate Affairs, Oppeinheimer, who is also De Beers Chairman, will fill the position until the end of 2011.
The position is by no means new to Oppeinheimer who served in the same position in January 1998 to March 2007 and he has been involved with the Debswana board since January 1980. Eric Molale is to continue as deputy chairman until 2011.
Having served as CEO of De Beers for about five years, Penny left the post after overseeing the response to the global financial crisis and the company’s subsequent recovery. De Beers’s Chief Financial Officer Stuart Brown and Chief Commercial Officer Bruce Cleaver will act as joint CEOs in the interim.
“The Chairmanship of the Debswana Board rotates between a nominee of the Botswana Government and Delibes Holdings Limited every two calendar years,” wrote Kanaimba.
Delibes Holdings limited is the De Beers wing that holds the 50% in the Debswana partnership.
A recipient of Botswana’s presidential order of Honour, Oppeinheimer is an honorary Fellow of the London Business School.
A non-executive director of Anglo-America plc, Oppeinheimer is also a chairman of Namdeb, the 50/50 diamond mining joint venture between De Beers and the Government of Namibia.
“Oppenheimer was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He joined the Anglo American Corporation in 1968 and has been associated with the wider Group ever since then,” Kanaimba wrote.