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De Beers announces management shuffle
Jonathan Oppenheimer to move up to the Chairman’s Office in the second quarter of 2006
By: Press Release
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Oct 1 2005 12:00AM
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Reference: 99  

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De Beers has announced a number of management changes within its Group structure.

Jonathan Oppenheimer, Managing Director of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), will move up to the Chairman’s Office in the second quarter of 2006, where he will assume a number of responsibilities for the De Beers Group worldwide.

Jonathan Oppenheimer, who has successfully led the re-engineering of DBCM, will be succeeded by David Noko, currently Operations Manager for DBCM’s Kimberley Mines.

David Noko will join Jonathan Oppenheimer in Johannesburg as Managing Director Designate of DBCM in January 2006, after which they will work together to ensure a smooth management transition in the second quarter of the year.

David Noko joined De Beers in 2002 after a distinguished career as a professional engineer and business leader at SA Breweries and Pepsi Cola International, and as CEO of Airchefs.

Commenting on David’s Noko’s appointment, Jonathan Oppenheimer said: “I am confident that, in David, we have the right person to continue to build on the successes achieved in DBCM since July 2004.

“David has successfully managed our operations in Kimberley since assuming the key role of operations manager in 2004, achieving a production milestone of two million carats last year, a feat last achieved in 1914, in spite of a challenging business environment.

“Having worked closely with him, I have no doubt that with his distinguished business pedigree and leadership skills, David will continue to build on recent successes and realise the steps made towards the profitability of our mines and the re-engineering of our South African mining operations, to help ensure sustainable diamond mining in South Africa into the future.”

Stuart Brown, Head of Finance for DBCM will move to a new position in the De Beers Group, where he will succeed Paddy Kell in the new year as Group Finance Director effective from February 2006. Stuart joined the De Beers Group in 1992, and brings with him significant management experience from De Beers operations in South Africa and Botswana.

Other management changes announced today include the appointment of Kerwin Rana as David Noko’s successor as Operations Manager at Kimberley Mines. Kerwin Rana will be responsible for managing and driving the Kimberley operation to greater levels of efficiency and profitability. Steven Dietrich will succeed Stuart Brown as Head: Finance within DBCM with immediate effect. Jonathan Oppenheimer will retain his positions as Chairman of Element Six, where he effected a similar turnaround to that achieved in DBCM, and Williamson Diamond Mine. He will also assume the chairmanship of De Beers Canada within the next year, and the diamond trading companies when their new structures are implemented.

Commenting on the management appointments, De Beers Chairman, Nicky Oppenheimer said: “2004 was an evolutionary year for De Beers, bringing to fruition the previous year’s objectives of reorganising and transforming the group. “Under Jonathan’s leadership, DBCM has been transformed and prepared for the imminent black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction as required by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

“The appointment of three South African executives to key positions within the De Beers Group — and the historic announcement of David as the first black South African Managing Director of DBCM — is an illustration of our continued commitment to our country of origin. I know that they will meet the challenges of a transforming diamond business in the 21st century head on as we continue to position De Beers as a leading partner of choice wherever diamonds are found and throughout all facets of the diamond pipeline.”

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