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World Diamond Council president to step down

2013-01-31

New York--After 13 years at the helm of the World Diamond Council (WDC), President Eli Izhakoff has announced that he will end his term on June 30.

The decision was not “sudden” and is “entirely personal,” according to a news release. Izhakoff informed the WDC’s board of directors about his plans last May, at the WDC’s annual meeting in Vicenza. Tuesday marked the first public announcement of his intentions.

A WDC spokesman told National Jeweler that the process is underway to find a replacement for Izhakoff.

The diamond industry created the WDC in 2000 via a resolution passed by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association at the World Diamond Congress held that year in Antwerp.

It was established to deal with the issue of “conflict” diamonds at a time when civil wars raged in several African countries. 

In July, the WDC announced plans to restructure and established a steering committee headed by Vice President Andrew Bone to restructure the organization’s membership, financing and administration in order to upgrade efficiency.

In a statement, Izhakoff called his time as head of the WDC “often challenging, but always inspiring.”

“The World Diamond Council, which was created in response to one of the gravest crises to face our industry, not only was instrumental in creating the system that blocked the flow of conflict diamonds into the legitimate trade [the Kimberley Process], but it also changed the way in which we see our role as a business community in a greater society. It also changed way in which are regarded by our stakeholders and our consumers,” he said. “I was privileged to serve as president from the very beginning, but it is now time for me and the World Diamond Council to move on.”