As part of De Beers Group’s belief in the power of a brand’s values to create value, the company has announced that it will sharpen its focus and investment in providing consumers with brands of true social purpose by combining its London-based Consumer & Brands and Corporate Affairs teams into a new single unit - Brands & Consumer Markets.
The new unit, which will be fully accountable for the development of the group’s brands and the expansion of its consumer businesses, represents an innovation in luxury – the consolidation of brand marketing and a company’s social purpose into one focused team. The unit is dedicated to engaging consumers in both the beauty of a De Beers diamond and the beauty of its story.
Stephen Lussier, previously Executive Vice President of Consumer & Brands, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Consumer Markets and will continue to serve as the Chairman of De Beers Jewellers and Chairman of Forevermark. Stephen is accountable for the long-term vision and strategy of De Beers’ consumer businesses.
David Prager, previously Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs, has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of De Beers. David is accountable for the marketing of De Beers and its brands and leading the Group’s commitment to create a positive impact in the lives of people and the health of the planet through De Beers’ Building Forever sustainability framework.
Stephen and David will continue to sit on the De Beers Group Executive Committee. Joining David in the newly established brand organisation, De Beers is pleased to announce the following appointments to its Brand Leadership Team:
Katie Fergusson: appointed Senior Vice President, Sustainable Impact
Katie, previously Senior Vice President of Social Impact, has been integral to the multi-year development of De Beers’ Building Forever framework. In this new role, Katie brings her extensive sustainability experience in the sector to leading the evolution and implementation of Building Forever, including across the group’s community and environment functions, to ensure it creates value and a positive legacy for communities, partner countries, employees and consumers.
Feriel Zerouki: appointed Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Feriel, previously Senior Vice President of International Relations & Ethical Initiatives, has built De Beers’ internationally recognised pipeline assurance programme (the Best Practice Principles) and De Beers’ efforts to address inequity and human rights in the ASM sector (GemFair). Feriel will lead a team accountable for securing ethical and sustainable value chains, international relations, industry engagement and corporate and employee communications.
Colby, previously Senior Vice President of Group Brand in London and Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Forevermark US, has led insight-driven campaigns to connect consumers with De Beers Group, Forevermark and, through her prior agency experience, A Diamond Is Forever. In this new role, Colby will shape a brand marketing strategy underpinned by social purpose and focused on exciting a new generation of consumers.
Martha Velando: appointed Senior Vice President, Global Marketing
Martha joined De Beers earlier this year as CMO of Forevermark. In this new role, she will lead the global marketing and amplification of De Beers and its brands, engaging consumers along the diamond purchasing journey. Prior to joining De Beers, Martha held senior global and local marketing roles driving profitable growth for world-class brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Kiehl’s and Victoria’s Secret while working for P&G, L’Oreal, and Coty across North America and Europe.
The London-based brand team will work closely with Céline Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers, and Nancy Liu, CEO of Forevermark, and their teams, to drive compelling, purpose-led marketing programmes around the world.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “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.” All appointments are effective immediately.