De Beers Group Shuffles Departments with Focus on Social Responsibility

SourcingNov 17, 2020

De Beers Group Shuffles Departments with Focus on Social Responsibility

The diamond company is combining its marketing and sustainable impact teams.

London—De Beers Group is shuffling up some of its key departments in an effort to show the diamond mining and jewelry company is focused on promoting its corporate social responsibility measures.

The London-based diamantaire is combining its “Consumer & Brands” team with its “Corporate Affairs” team into a new group called “Brands & Consumer Markets.”

The new department combines brand marketing with social purpose, De Beers explained, underlining the importance today’s consumer gives to shopping with companies that align with their values.

The Brands & Consumer Markets group will showcase the “beauty of a De Beers diamond and the beauty of its story,” per a press release.

This means a number of De Beers execs find themselves in new roles.

Stephen Lussier, chairman of De Beers Jewellers and chairman of Forevermark, in charge of De Beers’ consumer business long-term vision, sees his previous position as executive vice president of consumer and brands shift into executive vice president of consumer markets.

Lussier remains on the De Beers Group Executive Committee, as does David Prager, previously executive vice president of corporate affairs, who is now executive vice president and chief brand officer at De Beers.

Prager is tasked with De Beers’ marketing, showcasing its sustainability practices and commitment to creating a positive impact for people and the planet under the umbrella of a new program, called “Building Forever.”

Joining Prager in the development of the sustainability initiative, Building Forever, is Katie Fergusson.

Previously, Fergusson was senior vice president of social impact. Now, she is senior vice president of sustainable impact.

Feriel Zerouki, formerly senior vice president of international relations and ethical initiatives, is now senior vice president of corporate affairs.

Feriel and her team will be responsible for creating ethical and sustainable value chains, as well as international relations, industry engagement and corporate and employee communications.

Feriel built De Beers’ “Best Practice Principles,” a pipeline assurance program, as well as GemFair, as part of its efforts to bolster human rights in the artisanal mining community.

Colby Shergalis, former senior vice president of group brand in London and vice president of marketing and communications at Forevermark, is now senior vice president of brand marketing.

Shergalis has created consumer-facing campaigns for De Beers Group and Forevermark, and even “A Diamond is Forever” through her previous agency.

Now, Shergalis will focus on advertising that underscores social responsibility.

Lastly, Martha Velando, who joined De Beers in 2020 as Forevermark CEO, has now been

appointed to senior vice president of global marketing.

She will head up the global marketing team emphasizing consumer communication throughout their entire diamond purchasing journey.

Previously, Velando was a senior marketer for companies like Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Kiehl’s and Victoria’s Secret while working for P&G, L’Oreal and Coty.

The executives will work closely with De Beers Jewellers CEO Céline Assimon and Forevermark CEO Nancy Liu.

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver commented: “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.”
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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