The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has announced that Jean-Marc Lieberherr has decided to step down from his role as CEO at the end of his current contract period on 31 December 2019. Lieberherr served a leading role at the DPA since it was formed in December 2015, initially as its first Chairman, then as its CEO. His replacement, David Kellie, who has held senior positions at Ralph Lauren and Watches of Switzerland, will join the organisation in December 2019.
DPA chairman Stephen Lussier, who is also the executive vice president of De Beers, says that the organization has reached a point where it needed to pivot. “Jean-Marc has had a grueling path, it’s been tough to build an organization from scratch,” he says. “Now we have real strong teams in all the consumer markets. So we thought, now that we have reached stage one, and we are at the second stage, what kind of leader do we need?" He continued, stating, “We thought it was important to have a CEO with a strong marketing background, who really knows how to move the consumer. When we looked at what kind of leader we wanted, we didn’t want someone in the industry per se, we looked for a marketer. The task at hand is to take what we have and communicate in a really powerful way.”
Jean-Marc Lieberherr said: “I am proud of what has been achieved since the DPA was created, and especially since it received increased funding from June 2017. The DPA now has strong teams and foundations in place to capture the opportunities that lie ahead and it is time for a new leader to take the organisation through its next phase of development. I am confident that the DPA will play a critical role in the diamond sector in the years to come." Incoming CEO David Kellie commented, "As people search for authentic products with enduring meaning, there are outstanding opportunities to grow consumer demand for diamonds. A growing number of women are buying for themselves, there are already high levels of acquisition from younger consumers, and the number of middle class households around the world is growing rapidly, so there is a very bright future ahead of us. It is a real privilege to have the opportunity to work with such a magical product, a true miracle of nature, in such a fascinating industry.”
The DPA's budget is currently around $70 million annually, most of which is earmarked for the United States, but it also runs campaigns in China and India. Formed in May 2015 by seven of the world’s leading diamond companies, the DPA is focused on enhancing consumer demand for, and confidence in, diamonds. By promoting the integrity and reputation of diamonds and the diamond industry, the DPA plays a central role in maintaining the long-term success of the sector.