De Beers names Al Cook as new CEO

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De Beers Group has announced that Al Cook will become the diamond mining giant’s new CEO. When the appointment takes effect early next year, he will replace Bruce Cleaver, who becomes Co-Chairman of De Beers Group alongside Chairman and Anglo American Plc [AAUKF-OTCQX] CEO Duncan Wanblod.

Cooks is executive vice-president of exploration and production at Equinor ASA, the Norway-based global energy company. He joined Equinor after a 20-year career at BP that spanned a number of corporate, commercial and operational and major project development roles, including serving as Chief of Staff to the CEO. He holds an MA in Natural Sciences from St John’s College, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the appointment, Wanblod said 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 multi-disciplinary strategic skill set and strong personal conviction and values are ideally suited to the nature of De Beers, a global business that spans much of the spectrum of exploration and mining to Bond Street and Madison Avenue,’’ Wanblod said.

He is stepping in to replace Cleaver, who during more than six years as CEO of De Beers Group, led the business transformation across the value chain, the company said in a press release.

“During his tenure, the Group has launched the world’s largest and most sophisticated diamond recovery and exploration vessels; redesigned supply agreements with Sightholders to enhance the efficiency of rough diamond distribution; integrated the organization’s downstream business; created Tracer, the world’s only distributed diamond blockchain that starts at source; launched the Lightbox Jewelry laboratory-grown diamond business, and established and embedded the Building Forever sustainability framework across the Group, including setting 12 ambitious sustainability goals for 2030.

“I am proud of all that we have achieved together during this period, despite the major challenges we have faced along the way,’’ he said. “I believe the diamond industry in general and De Beers Group in leadership team to ensure we continue to take the business and the industry to new heights.’’

Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company, employing more than 20,000 people, and holding diamond operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia, and South Africa. De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group.

De Beers Group has two operating mines in Canada, including Victor in Northern Ontario, and Gahcho Kue in the Northwest Territories. Victor is currently in closure and rehabilitation. Gahcho Kue is a joint venture between De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. [MPVD-TSX, NYSE]

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