By Michelle Graff
Peter Macken has been “relieved of his duties” as CEO of HRD Antwerp, the lab announced Tuesday. Macken was hired in the spring of 2015 and started heading the lab on a part-time basis that June.
Antwerp--HRD Antwerp announced this week that it has terminated the contract of CEO Peter Macken, who took the helm of the diamond grading laboratory a little more than a year ago.

The lab said Macken’s termination was the result of “differing strategic views” and that the decision was mutual.

Macken started as CEO of the lab on a part-time basis in June 2015, becoming full time at the end of August 2015.

His termination is effective immediately, with Antwerp World Diamond Centre CEO Ari Epstein taking over as the interim head until a replacement can be found. Epstein also was appointed president of the HRD Antwerp board of directors.

“HRD Antwerp’s Executive Committee would hereby like to thank Mr. Macken for his services and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors and professional career,” the lab said in a statement.

News of Macken’s departure comes exactly two weeks after the lab announced it had fired three employees and banned a client after it uncovered evidence that the client had been bribing the employees for better diamond grades.

As a result of the discovery, the lab has recalled 156 diamonds with grading reports that might be incorrect. A full list of recalled reports is available on

An HRD Antwerp spokesperson did not respond by deadline when asked if Macken’s termination was related to this incident.

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