May 16, 2011
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De Beers names Alstom exec Philippe Mellier as CEO

May 16, 2011

May 16 - Diamond producer De Beers has named Philippe Mellier, an executive from French engineering group Alstom, as its new chief executive, ending a search that has lasted almost a year.

De Beers
Philippe Mellier

De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, surprised the market last July with news that veteran Gareth Penny was stepping down from the helm.

Mellier, a mechanical engineer by training, is currently president of Alstom Transport and executive vice president of the parent company. His experience has largely been in the auto industry, working for Renault and Ford.

"De Beers is fortunate to have the world's premier diamond experts...which enabled us to focus on finding the best leader for De Beers' future," Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer said, referring to Mellier's track record outside the industry. Chief Financial Officer Stuart Brown and Chief Commercial Officer Bruce Cleaver have acted as joint CEOs as Penny lessened his involvement with the company, 45 percent owned by mining giant Anglo-American.

Mellier's move will be effective July 1.

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Kate Holton)

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