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De Beers Group consolidates leadership in management shakeup

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

21 Jul 2021

People

De Beers Group is streamlining its management structure by consolidating the leadership of its jewellery houses, expanding Céline Assimon’s role to lead De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark.

The move comes as De Beers Group announced that Nancy Liu, currently chief executive of De Beers Forevermark, has decided to leave the business. Assimon, chief executive of De Beers Jewellers will expand her role to lead both jewellery houses.

In her expanded role, Assimon will continue to report to Stephen Lussier, who is chairman of both jewellery houses, and “will shape a coordinated offering focused on beautiful diamonds, inspiring design and connecting consumers to De Beers’ Building Forever mission”.

De Beers added that positioning the two jewellery houses under Assimon’s leadership represents the “latest step in the evolution to a ‘one De Beers’ strategy”.

Assimon joined De Beers Group as chief executive of De Beers Jewellers in September 2020 and is described by the jewellery group as having “outstanding international experience in leading the growth of a range of leading businesses in the high-end jewellery and luxury sector”.

Céline Assimon named chief executive of De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark

Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of De Beers Group, said in a statement: “Céline has already shown in her time with De Beers that she has a deep passion for diamonds and sustainability, allied to an extremely keen eye for detail and consumer tastes.

“She is the ideal person to lead both our jewellery houses in the exciting next phase of their development as we work to grow consumer desire for De Beers’ inspiring diamond jewellery and our commitment to creating a positive lasting legacy for the people and places where our diamonds are discovered.”

The change will take effect from September 5, 2021, and Liu will remain with De Beers Group until September 21 to ensure a seamless transition of leadership ahead of her departure.

Nancy Liu chief executive of De Beers Forevermark to depart in September

On Liu, Cleaver, added: “Nancy has been instrumental in leading the development of De Beers Forevermark to its position as an internationally-recognised and trusted name for responsibly sourced, beautiful diamond jewellery. Personally, I have enjoyed learning from and working with Nancy, and all of us at De Beers Group thank Nancy for her outstanding work and we wish her all the best for the next chapter in her career.”

Liu has worked at De Beers Group for 13 years and has played a “key role in the global development of the De Beers Forevermark business,” said the company. She led the growth of the business in China, building a new team and establishing De Beers Forevermark as a leading player in the rapidly growing Chinese consumer market for diamond jewellery. Liu went on to become chief operating officer before being appointed De Beers Forevermark chief executive in 2019 and has led the development and implementation of the business’s wholesale and retail strategy.

Image: courtesy of De Beers Group; Céline Assimon, chief executive of De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark