De Beers’ Element Six has announced that, after almost ten years in the position, Walter Huehn will stand down as chief executive, effective on 31 January 2023.
Huehn was appointed chief executive of the De Beers Group business, which is focussed on the development and production of synthetic diamond and tungsten carbide supermaterials, in March of 2013.
The process to recruit Huehn’s successor has begun and De Beers has confirmed that an announcement will be made in due course with further details about Huehn’s successor and transitional processes.
Huehn has led the business through volatile market conditions, such as those presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as through key strategic developments, such as the opening of a CVD synthetic diamond manufacturing facility for the production of lab-grown diamonds for Lightbox Jewelry.
Most recently, Huehn has driven the business’ focus on harnessing the potential of new applications for synthetic diamonds – including quantum technology.
De Beers Group CEO, Bruce Cleaver, said: “Walter has led Element Six with distinction for the best part of a decade and has continued to deliver excellent value, successfully guiding Element Six through its strategic journey, despite a range of global challenges to contend with.
“He is passionate about innovation, and about the potential for synthetic diamonds to provide novel solutions to some of the world’s most intractable problems.
“One of his most important legacies, however, is the outstanding team he has built at Element Six, which has a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion, as well as a clear vision of where the key opportunities for the business lie in the future.
“Synthetic diamonds have the potential to transform the world of technology, and Walter’s successor will work closely with the leadership team to ensure Element Six remains at the forefront of innovation in the advanced material solutions sector.”