The De Beers Group has gone outside the diamond industry to appoint Philippe Mellier as its new chief executive officer.
Mellier, currently the president of Alstom Transport and executive vice president of Alstom s.a., was selected after what the diamond giant described as “a wide-ranging search.” He will formally join De Beers in July and will chair the company’s executive committee and be appointed to the De Beers s.a. Board.
As president of Alstom Transport, a French multinational conglomerate with interests in the power generation and transport markets, Mellier oversaw a growing business of 27,000 employees with sales of almost 6 billion euros ($8.5 billion) during the last fiscal year.
“Having led the transformation of the diamond industry over the past decade, this appointment signals our determination to lead in a rapidly changing world,” Nicky Oppenheimer, De Beers Board chairman said in a statement Monday. “In Philippe we have found a proven leader with a reputation for delivering results while shaping businesses for the long-term.”
Oppenheimer added, “With several large upstream projects underway and the rapid emergence of major downstream markets, De Beers stands on the cusp of an exciting new period of growth. To seize this moment, we were determined to find a leader with a world class track record of delivering large projects, understanding the needs of key stakeholders including government partners and clients, and an instinct for shifting consumer patterns. I am excited by the dynamism and fresh perspective that Philippe will bring to De Beers.”
Mellier was named president of Alstom Transport and member of the Alstom Executive Committee in 2003. A year later he was appointed executive VP of Alstom Group.
Prior to Alstom, he was named chairman and CEO of Renault Trucks in 2001 and served as a member of the Volvo Group Executive Committee. In 1999, he was senior VP in charge of European Sales for Renault and was a member its management board.
He began his career in 1980 with the Ford Motor Company where he occupied various senior management positions over 19 years, including an appointment as vice president of Marketing, Sales and After Sales Activities in 1997 for Ford of Europe.
Mellier graduated from ENSTA, the Paris-based French institute for engineering education and scientific research, with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1979. He received an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France-based business school in 1980. He is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.