By Michelle Graff
Paul Rowley and Varda Shine
London--After 30 years with the company, Varda Shine is leaving her post as the global head of sightholder sales for the De Beers Group of Companies at the end of January to “explore other opportunities,” De Beers announced Thursday.

Paul Rowley, the senior vice president of midstream operations for global sightholder sales, will replace Shine. Rowley has been with De Beers since 1983 and has held a variety of senior positions within the organization, including as acting CEO of DTC Botswana prior to his current role.

The announcement of Shine’s departure comes shortly after De Beers relocated its aggregation services from London to Gaborone, Botswana, per the company’s current 10-year sales contract with the African nation.

The geographic shift in sales activity meant the relocation of the majority of De Beers’ operations, and therefore its personnel, from London to Gaborone.

In August, a De Beers spokeswoman told National Jeweler that Shine, whose official title is executive vice president of global sightholder sales, would be relocating along with other employees in time for the first sight, which will take place next month.  However, other reports indicated that it was unclear if Shine’s was a permanent move and speculated that she would leave De Beers shortly after the relocation.

On Thursday, a De Beers spokeswoman said that Shine always intended to move to Botswana with the sales team but now that the transition is “pretty well complete,” she feels it is time to “explore other opportunities.”

Shine began her career with De Beers in Israel in 1983, working with Diamdel, which today is known as De Beers Auction Sales, rising to the position of sales director.

In 1997, she relocated to London to work as a production manager with the Diamond Trading Co. (DTC), which is now called Global Sightholder Sales. De Beers promoted her to director of sales and sightholder services for the DTC in 2003, before promoting her again to her current role in January 2006.

Shine also is chairwoman of the DTC Botswana and deputy chairperson of the Namibia DTC board, having led the establishment of the Sightholder Services Network, with the formal creation of the government joint ventures, DTC Botswana and Namibia DTC.

She also will resign from both of these positions. De Beers said it will name successors shortly.

“I am very proud of all I have achieved with De Beers, both on the commercial side as well as establishing beneficiation at the heart of the organization. I have really enjoyed working with our sightholders over the years, witnessing their businesses transform, and with our government partners in the establishment of the DTC Botswana and Namibia DTC joint ventures and in managing the relocation of the Global Sightholder Sales operations from the UK to Botswana,” Shine said in a statement. “I believe that De Beers has a very bright future in southern Africa and Paul has all the right ingredients to take the business on to further success.”

De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier called Shine’s contribution to De Beers over the past three decades “immense.”

“I would like to thank her wholeheartedly for her tireless commitment to the success of De Beers, its partners and the wider diamond industry. I am delighted to have a successor with Paul’s expertise in diamonds and experience in Africa to take Global Sightholder Sales forward. He will provide excellent continuity of leadership as the business settles in its new home,” Mellier said.


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