In the past two decades, we have witnessed the gradual transition of De Beers from an ivory-towered monopoly to a commercial venture struggling to shake off its past and find a new way.
Now, in nearly a single stroke, De Beers has made the final cuts, leaving many in the trade speculating that the one-time cartel may be facing its ultimate decline.
What are these cuts? On Nov. 11, De Beers conducted its first sight in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. London is no longer the sales center. About two-thirds of all Diamond Trading Company employees will not be moving to Gaborone, many of them long-time employees with valuable relationships and historical perspectives.
And it was announced recently that Varda Shine, manager of global sales, will be stepping down at the end of the year. She is seen as the last top management officer who has a strong grasp of the peculiar dynamics of the diamond business.
By Ben Janowski*, president, The Janos Group Ltd.
*Special guest blogger Ben Janowski, a longtime diamond industry consultant and occasional JCK contributor, helms the Cutting Remarks blog while Rob Bates is on leave.