De Beers chief to leave business after 20 years


Stuart Brown sets out to find fresh challenges as new CEO settles in.

De Beers chief financial officer and acting joint chief executive Stuart Brown will leave the diamond company after nearly 20 years with the business.

Brown will leave De Beers on July 31 and will use his time until then to help new chief executive Philippe Mellier settle into his role at the company.

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Brown has yet to reveal if he has any firm plans for his career after he leaves De Beers but said that the “time is right to move on and find new challenges”.

He added: “I leave De Beers with fond memories and confidence that we have put the company on a trajectory for strong and sustained growth. After nearly 20 years with De Beers, and the last five as CFO, this is the right time for me to move on and find new challenges. De Beers is a great company with a bright future ahead of it and I wish Nicky, Philippe and all of my colleagues nothing but success in the years to come.”

Brown has been credited with leading a comprehensive restructure and successful refinancing at De Beers over the past three years. De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer said that his leadership qualities will be sorely missed at the company.

Oppenheimer added: “Over the past several years Stuart has played a central role in reshaping De Beers and positioning it for the future. During the past three years in particular, Stuart has led a comprehensive restructure and a successful refinancing of the group all while seeing the company through the most challenging financial crisis since WWII and helping it to post the best financial results we’ve seen in more than a decade. We will miss Stuart’s leadership and wish him every success in the future.”

Brown joined De Beers in 1992 at Premier Mine, which has since been renamed Cullinan Mine, as the internal auditor. Since then, Brown progressed through a series of positions in accounting, mining, diamond manufacturing, exploration and group finance in Johannesburg. In 2006, Brown was appointed as group chief financial officer and last year was appointed acting joint chief executive.

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