Former president of railway company to help deliver long-term goals.
De Beers Group chairman Nicky Oppenheimer has announced Philippe Mellier as the company’s new chief executive officer.
Mellier is the current president of railway company Alstom Transport and executive vice president of Alstom. He was selected after a wide-ranging search and will formally join De Beers in July. Mellier will chair the company’s executive committee and be appointed to the De Beers s.a. Board.
As President of Alstom Transport, Mellier has overseen a growing business with sales of almost €6 billion during the last fiscal year. He had responsibility for 27,000 employees and has earned a reputation for delivering large capital projects, working with partners and opening new markets.
Speaking of Mellier’s arrival, Oppenheimer commented: "Today is an exciting day for the staff and shareholders of De Beers. Having led the transformation of the diamond industry over the past decade, this appointment signals our determination to lead in a rapidly changing world. In Philippe we have found a proven leader with a reputation for delivering results while shaping businesses for the long-term. De Beers is fortunate to have the world’s premier diamond experts – from exploration to mining and from sales to marketing – which enabled us to focus on finding the best leader for De Beers’ future."
Oppenheimer said he was impressed by Mellier’s track record, which made it clear that he was the right fit for De Beers.
"With several large upstream projects underway and the rapid emergence of major downstream markets, De Beers stands on the cusp of an exciting new period of growth. I am excited by the dynamism and fresh perspective that Philippe will bring to De Beers", he added.
In reply, Mellier said: "I am honoured to be asked to lead De Beers at this exciting time. I take on this role with humility, enthusiasm and two fundamental beliefs – the safety of our people will always be paramount, and the diamond dream will always be the bedrock of our business model."
Cynthia Carroll, chief executive of Anglo American, De Beers’ largest shareholder, said: "I am confident that Philippe will now lead the company to its next stage of growth, with steadily increasing consumer demand and several exciting projects to secure additional future supply."