Citing family reasons, Dominion Diamond CEO stepping down

Dominion Diamond CEO Brendan Bell.
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Brendan Bell is stepping down as chief executive officer of Dominion Diamond Corporation citing personal reasons.

The decision was announced in the form of a press release issued by Bell and the company Monday morning.

RELATED: Dominion Diamond head office leaving Yellowknife, CEO says

He’ll also step down as a member of the board of directors.

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“Both the board of directors and I agreed that this is an appropriate time for me to hand the reins to someone else,” Bell said in a statement.

“The decision to move the corporate offices of Dominion from Yellowknife to Calgary was necessary in order to reduce operating costs and support the long-term strength of the company, and is one that I continue to support.

“For personal reasons, however, this is not the right move for my family.”

Bell has agreed to stay on as CEO until June 30, which should allow for a smoother transition once a successor is named.

Dominion says it’s already begun the process of replacing Bell.

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“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Brendan for his contributions to Dominion,” said Jim Gowans, chairman of the board of directors. “We wish him all the best in the future.”

The announcement comes less than three months after the company announced it’d be moving its head office from Yellowknife to Calgary as part of a cost-cutting measure.

The move, which is expected to be completed sometime this summer, will affect 100 local employees but save the company up to $19 million annually.

The decision was heavily criticized by Northern unions and the NWT Chamber of Commerce, which accused the company of turning its back on the territory.

Dominion operates the NWT’s Ekati diamond mine and also owns 40 per cent of the territory’s Diavik diamond mine.

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