David Prager To Leave De Beers in 2024

SourcingDec 04, 2023

David Prager To Leave De Beers in 2024

Ryan Perry, who has been with De Beers since 2002, also will be leaving the company next year.

De Beers Ryan Perry and David Prager
On Monday, De Beers announced the pending departure of two longtime executives, Ryan Perry, left, and David Prager.
London—After nearly two decades with De Beers Group, David Prager will leave the company next year, De Beers announced Monday.

Prager, currently executive vice president and chief brand officer, joined De Beers in September 2006 as director of communications. 

Over the course of 17 years, he worked his way up, serving as global head of corporate affairs and then executive vice president of corporate affairs before being promoted to his current role in November 2020. 

De Beers CEO Al Cook credited Prager with leading the transformation of the company’s purpose and its brand. 

“Throughout his time at De Beers, David’s insight, creativity, and leadership have propelled us forward. He transformed our brand and marketing strategy; managed complex issues in a way that built trust with stakeholders and strengthened our reputation around the world; and he designed a sustainability framework that has protected the natural world, improved people’s lives and deepened our clients’ connection to our diamonds,” Cook said. 

“While I will be very sorry to lose David, I know that his values and ability to build common ground will stay with De Beers for years to come. I would like to personally thank him for his outstanding contribution to the company.”

Prager will continue to serve on the company’s executive committee until March 2024 and will remain chairman of the Natural Diamond Council until the NDC’s board elects a successor. 

De Beers did not give a reason for his departure, and Prager did not indicate where he will be headed next in a post shared Monday on LinkedIn, writing only, “Thank you De Beers! 17 years has been a terrific run and we’ve done wonderful things for our diamond clients and diamond communities.  

“I’m looking forward to continuing to support my Exco colleagues through to March next year and rooting on their success … forever.”  

 Related stories will be right here … 
De Beers announced the departure of another longtime executive on Monday.

Ryan Perry, who has been with the company since 2002, also will leave De Beers in 2024. 

In his 21 years with De Beers, Perry has worked in a number of operational and strategic leadership roles. His current title is acting executive vice president of Strategy & Innovation.

“From tackling technical mining challenges to predicting the future of diamond demand, Ryan has contributed outstandingly across the De Beers Group,” Cook said.   

“He has always been effective in bringing different parties to work together successfully, leading change programs during the global pandemic, leading strategy development and leading the creation of the Diamonds for Development Fund in Botswana.” 

The Diamonds for Development Fund was established as part of the new sales agreement between De Beers and the Botswana government to help the country diversify its economy and create jobs outside the diamond industry. 

Like Prager, Perry will remain on the executive committee during the transition.  

Also on Monday, De Beers announced the appointment of Tom Johnson, current head of legal and company secretary, as general counsel. 

As part of his new role, Johnson joins the executive committee.  

Johnson is based in the United Kingdom and first joined De Beers in 2016 as part of Element Six.  

During his time with De Beers, Cook said Johnson has demonstrated an “unparalleled understanding” of the complexities that come with being a 135-year-old company with a global footprint, and of the opportunities to simplify the company.  

He also led the management of legal issues and negotiations in Botswana as De Beers was working out the new sales agreement there.  

“I am confident Tom is the right person to shape a streamlined focus to our corporate structure, while maintaining our proud position as an ethical leader of the diamond industry. I look forward to welcoming him to the executive committee,” Cook said. 

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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