Diamond magnate, Nicky Oppenheimer, has been appointed Debswana Chairman with effect from August 18, a position he will hold until the end of next year.
Oppenheimer's appointment was occasioned by the resignation of Gareth Penny as De Beers' CEO and Debswana Chair.
In a statement Thursday, Debswana said Oppenheimer, who is also De Beers Group Chairperson, had previously served as the Debswana Chair from January 1998 to March 2007. He has been on the diamond giant's board since January 1980, is also Namdeb Chair, as well as a non-executive director of Anglo American plc. Debswana officials explained that the Debswana Chairmanship rotates between a nominee of the Botswana Government and Delibes Holdings Limited every two years. Delibes Holdings Limited is the De Beers entity that
In January 2009, Penny took over Debswana's chairmanship from the Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale, and would have served until December 2011 had he not signalled his intention to resign from De Beers in July. Molale himself took over Debswana's chairmanship in June 2008 from Akolang Tombale who left to become the Coordinator of the Diamond Hub. Molale will continue as Debswana Deputy Chair until the end of 2011 when the Government of Botswana will have an opportunity to nominate the Chair in line with the Debswana shareholders' agreement.