De Beers Group Rejigs London Teams, Prioritizing ‘Social Purpose’

LONDON — In a bid to meld company values and social purpose with brands and products, De Beers Group is consolidating two of its London-based teams into one.

The company said Monday it was combining its Consumer & Brand and Corporate Affairs teams into a new single unit known as Brands & Consumer Markets because “compelling and meaningful brands will shape the future of diamonds.”

The new unit will be “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.”

Stephen Lussier, who was previously executive vice president of the Consumer & Brand division, has been appointed executive vice president, Consumer Markets, and will continue to serve as the chairman of De Beers Jewellers and chairman of Forevermark, De Beers said.

Lussier is accountable for the long-term vision and strategy of De Beers’ consumer businesses.

David Prager, previously executive vice president of corporate affairs, has been appointed executive vice president and chief brand officer of De Beers. He is accountable for the marketing of DeBeers, its brands “and leading the group’s commitment to create a positive impact in the lives of people and the health of the planet through De Beers’ Building Forever sustainability framework,” the company said.

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Both men will continue to sit on the De Beers Group executive committee.

The London-based team will work closely with Céline Assimon, chief executive officer of De Beers Jewellers, and Nancy Liu, ceo of Forevermark, and their teams “to drive compelling, purpose-led marketing programs around the world.”

Bruce Cleaver, ceo of De Beers Group, said: “As new generations of consumers look to express not just their love, but their values, through the purchases they make for others and the things they buy for themselves, the transformation and appointments we have announced reflect our conviction that compelling and meaningful brands will shape the future of diamonds.

“The combination of Stephen’s unparalleled experience in the diamond industry, Nancy and Céline’s leadership of Forevermark and De Beers Jewellers respectively and our new holistic brand team that will bring together our efforts to protect, lend purpose to and promote our brands under David’s leadership, will deliver purpose-led and growth-focused propositions for our partners.”

All appointments are effective immediately, the company said.

As reported, De Beers has been making strides on the sustainability front this year.

De Beers is preparing its first sustainability report in which it will set out its carbon usage and future goals. The report was set to be published earlier this year, but was delayed due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

The diamond giant is also researching the potential of kimberlite, the rock that encases rough diamonds, and believes it could soak up 30 percent of the company’s carbon emissions.

Over the summer, Lussier said during a meeting of De Beers sightholders, or preferred wholesale buyers, that the company’s mission is to educate consumers about the diamond industry “and the positive social contribution diamonds make to the world today.”

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