Saturday, July 24, 2010

Diamond Producer De Beers' CEO Gareth Penny Stepping Down

In a move that stunned those with an interest in the largest diamond producer in the world - De Beers, CEO Gareth Penny announced he'll be stepping down after a highly successful half-year of revenue.

With nothing else on his plate, there are some questions as to why he's doing it, other than his comment "I feel it’s the right time." Penny has run the company for the last five years.

Some said it felt odd that there was no replacement to step in to replace Penny, and no announcement before this. It implies something happened behind the scenes, whether it's the reality or not.

Sales for the last half increased to $2.6 billion, or 84 percent, as Asian demand skyrocketed, especially demand from China and India.

As far as carats go, production in that regard is estimated to increase from 30 million to 32 million for the year, with projections for 2011 coming in at around 40 million carats.

Penny will remain at the company until September, when his position will be taken over by Chief Financial Officer Stuart Brown and Chief Commercial Officer Bruce Cleaver, who will remain in the capacity of joint-CEOs until a replacement is found.

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