De Beers' CEO Gareth Penny announced plans to step down as soon as a replacement is found, saying the time has come to wind down his oversight of the world's largest diamond producer, according to a report in Reuters. Penny said he planned to continue as CEO until the end of the third quarter and would assume a part-time role in the fourth quarter until a replacement is found.
The company's chief financial officer, Stuart Brown, and its chief commercial officer, Bruce Cleaver, will act as joint CEOs in the interim. According to the report, Penny is stepping down because he viewed five years was the window of time that a CEO could be effective. Analysts noted that Penny had recently turned the company around, and described the timing of his announcement as surprising.
Penny said De Beers' investors currently have no plans to take the company public, Reuters said.