By Michelle Graff
New York--Andrey Polyakov, a member of the international diamond community who was a high-ranking executive at Alrosa and the current president of the World Diamond Council, has vacated both posts.

Polyakov, who is a graduate of Russia’s Military University with a specialization in international journalism, joined Alrosa Group in 2004, starting as an advisor to CEO of Alrosa Investment Group. He headed the company’s corporate communications department from 2007 to 2013, eventually becoming a vice president at the company.

In May 2016, he succeeded Edward Asscher as president of the WDC, the organization that serves as the representative for the diamond industry in the Kimberley Process. He was to serve a two-year term that would have ended next May.

Polyakov’s departure from Alrosa and, subsequently, the WDC comes just a few months after Alrosa President Andrey Zharkov left and was replaced by Sergey Ivanov Jr., a 36-year-old Moscow native who is the youngest CEO in company history and is the son of a man who was a high-ranking official in the Kremlin.

In a statement emailed to National Jeweler, Ivanov said that he accepted Polyakov’s resignation “since all of the most important tasks and projects he was working on in recent years have been successfully accomplished and implemented.”

“Alrosa is grateful to Andrey Polyakov for his contribution to the development of the company. I am confident that his knowledge and experience will be in demand in other major projects," Ivanov concluded.

According to the WDC, current Vice President Stéphane Fischler, who also is president of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, will become the organization’s acting president on July 1 and remain in that role until May 2018, when he will begin his two-year term as president.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Andrey for his leadership, and I, along with the rest of the members, look forward to continuing the good work he began with us,” Fischler said.

Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication to include a statement from Alrosa that was received after press time.

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