Petra Diamonds keeps founder Pouroulis as chairman

Cullinan diamond mine. (Image courtesy of Petra Diamonds)

South Africa’s Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) is keeping founder Adonis Pouroulis as chairman, despite some shareholders voting against his renewal at the 2018 annual general meeting.

The company, which last month appointed former gold miner Richard Duffy as chief executive effective in April, said the appointment of a new chair was “not appropriate” at this time.

Petra said the board and nomination committee had considered the 22.12% vote against Pouroulis’ re-election as chairman in the context of Petra’s ongoing three-year succession plan.

Despite concerns raised by some shareholders, the diamond miner said the current chairman continued to “demonstrate the independence of thought and challenge required for his role, notwithstanding the number of years he has served as a director.”

Pouroulis founded Petra in 1997 and has been its chairman ever since.

The company has been seeking to turn around its fortunes after piling up debt to expand its iconic Cullinan mine, in South Africa, where the world’s largest-ever diamond was found in 1905.