Former De Beers Chairman Julian Ogilvie Thompson Dies
Julian Ogilvie Thompson, former chairman and CEO of De Beers as well as of its parent company, Anglo American, died on August 11 aged 89.
Ogilvie Thompson, a South African native, first joined Anglo American in 1956. He was promoted to personal assistant to then chairman Harry Oppenheimer a year later, De Beers told Rapaport News. In 1966, he joined the board of De Beers, and he became deputy chairman in 1982. Three years later, Ogilvie Thompson took over as executive chairman of De Beers, while Oppenheimer’s son, Nicky, filled his previous role.
In 1997, Ogilvie Thompson retired as chairman but remained deputy chairman until stepping down from the company in 2002. He was committed to supporting the development of young leaders from across Africa, forming an 18-year affiliation with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which offers scholarship and leadership programs to youth throughout the continent.
“Julian Ogilvie Thompson — often known in the business simply as JOT — was a hugely influential figure in the history not only of De Beers and Anglo American, but also in the broader South African landscape,” a De Beers spokesperson said. “As the former chairman and chief executive of both Anglo American and De Beers, and as a proud South African, he played a key role in shaping both companies and the nation.”
Image: Julian Ogilvie Thompson. (De Beers)