Robert Gannicott, a major player in the development of the Canadian diamond industry, passed away on August 3 after a lengthy battle with leukemia with his life partner, Geraldine Peacock, at his side.
Mr. Gannicott was a member of the board of directors of Dominion Diamond Corp. since the company’s inception as a diamond company in 1992. He was chairman of the board from June, 2004, until April, 2016, and was CEO from September, 1999 to July, 2015.
“It is a sad day at Dominion. Bob Gannicott was a visionary and a pillar of the Canadian diamond industry. He built the company from the ground up, taking it from a junior mining company to what is it is today as Canada’s largest independent diamond producer. Bob was an exceptional leader as well as a good friend and mentor; he will be deeply missed by all who had the good fortune to work with him and to know him,” said Brendan Bell, CEO.
Mr. Gannicott led the company through its growth following the company’s discovery in Canada’s Northwest Territories and founding of the Diavik Diamonds project in 1994 and 1995, through to the acquisition of the iconic American luxury diamond jewelry brand, Harry Winston. He later took advantage of a rare opportunity with the acquisition of the Ekati diamond mine and sale of Harry Winston, returning the company to its roots as a pure-play Canadian diamond miner. The company was renamed Dominion Diamond Corp.
Born in England, Mr. Gannicott was a geologist who immigrated to Canada in 1967.