De Beers Group has appointed Bruce Cleaver as CEO following Philippe Mellier’s decision to step down after five years with the company.

Cleaver’s appointment within De Beers will take effect on 1 July 2016.

Newly appointed De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver
Newly appointed De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver

Cleaver, age 51, joined De Beers as general counsel in 2005, becoming commercial director in 2007. In 2010 he was appointed co-acting CEO of De Beers for a year prior to Philippe Mellier’s appointment in 2011, becoming executive head responsible for strategy, business development, corporate affairs and technologies in 2011. He was appointed group director of strategy and business development for Anglo American in 2015.

Prior to joining De Beers, Cleaver was a partner in the commercial practice of Webber Wentzel in South Africa following an early career in investment banking.

Anglo American announced on Friday that Duncan Wanblad, CEO of Anglo American’s Base Metals business, will add the strategy and business development portfolio of Anglo American to his responsibilities.

Congratulating Cleaver on his appointment, Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani, who is also the chairman of De Beers, said Cleaver will provide strong continuity at an important stage in the diamond market’s recovery having worked alongside Philippe over much of the last decade building commercial and government relationships, combined with his time working on shaping the new Anglo American strategy.

Cutifani noted that Cleaver would be joining the company at a time when the structural dynamics of the diamond market continue to improve, led by the strength of consumer demand for diamond jewellery. “With the proven management team in place, De Beers is well positioned to maximise value for all its stakeholders across the diamond value chain.”

“I look forward to working closely with all of our key customers, governments and other stakeholders to ensure that De Beers continues to lead the industry into a new and exciting phase. My sincere thanks to Mellier – his innovative thinking, constant questioning of the status quo and desire to advance the agenda has benefited all of us, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him,” Cleaver noted on his appointment.