De Beers Gives Céline Assimon Double CEO Role in Management Shakeup

LONDON — In a further bid to streamline its management structure, De Beers said that Céline Assimon, currently chief executive officer of De Beers Jewellers, will take on the additional role of CEO at De Beers Forevermark and lead both jewelry houses.

The company said that Nancy Liu, currently CEO of De Beers Forevermark, has decided to leave the business.

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

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

Assimon joined De Beers Group as CEO of De Beers Jewellers in September 2020 and has “outstanding international experience in leading the growth of a range of leading businesses in the high-end jewelry and luxury sector,” the company said.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said: “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 jewelry houses in the exciting next phase of their development as we work to grow consumer desire for De Beers’ inspiring diamond jewelry and our commitment to creating a positive, lasting legacy for the people and places where our diamonds are discovered.”

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The change will take effect Sept. 5, and the company said Liu will remain with De Beers Group until Sept. 21 to ensure a smooth transition.

Cleaver said that Liu “has been instrumental in leading the development of De Beers Forevermark to its position as an internationally recognized and trusted name for responsibly sourced, beautiful diamond jewelry. 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.”

The company said that during her 13-year career at De Beers Group, Liu played “a key role in the global development of the De Beers Forevermark business. Nancy 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 jewelry.”

She went on to become chief operating officer before being appointed De Beers Forevermark CEO in 2019, and has led the development and implementation of the business’s wholesale and retail strategy.

According to De Beers, less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become Forevermark. The company said that each Forevermark diamond is “responsibly sourced, originating at a carefully selected mine that benefits the people, community and country where it is located. Forevermark traces each diamond along its journey, ensuring strict business, environmental and social standards are met at every step.”

The diamonds are sold in a select group of Authorized Forevermark Jewelers, and are available as loose diamonds or in finished jewelry. They also are inscribed with a microscopic brand logo and unique number.

As reported, De Beers has been looking to streamline and consolidate management and operations. Last year, the group combined its Consumer & Brand and Corporate Affairs teams into a new single unit known as Brands & Consumer Markets.

The new unit is “fully accountable for the development of the group’s brands, and the expansion of its consumer businesses,” De Beers said.

The company noted that the reorganization “represents an innovation in luxury: The consolidation of brand marketing and a company’s social purpose into one focused team. The unit is dedicated to engaging consumers in both the beauty of a De Beers diamond, and the beauty of its story.”

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