LSE-listed Gem Diamonds deputy CEO and COO, Johnny Velloza, has advised of his intention to leave the company as an executive on 15 September 2018, to take up a position as joint CEO in a large copper and cobalt company operating in the DRC.  

As intended, Velloza will join the board on 1 July, initially in an executive capacity and from 15 September 2018 onwards, as a non-executive director.

“It is with great regret that I leave Gem Diamonds as an executive officer after working through a very significant turnaround process which has seen enormous progress and is on track to deliver on the targets the company has outlined.  I look forward to continuing to support the company as a non-executive director, says Velloza.

In the interim, Gavin Beevers, an ex De Beers technical director, will join Gem Diamonds as technical advisor from 1 July during the handover period and beyond.

Beevers has spent 10 years on the Gem Diamonds’ board and is well versed in the company’s operations and will support the new COO as required.

Velloza played a key role in the transformation process which Gem Diamonds will continue to pursue, to generate further strong returns to our shareholders. “We are sorry to see Johnny leave as an executive but look forward to his ongoing contribution as a board member in the future,” says Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick.

A search for Velloza’s successor is underway and a further announcement on succession plans will be made in due course.