Debmarine Namibia Announces Retirement Of CEO Otto Shikongo & Appointment Of Willy Mertens As Successor

Debmarine Namibia, the diamond recovery joint venture owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, announced the appointment of Willy Mertens as its new Chief Executive Officer, with effect from 1st November, 2022. Mertens will succeed Otto Shikongo, who retires from the business at the end of this year, and who has been at the helm of Debmarine Namibia since 2004.

Mertens is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Debmarine Namibia with oversight accountability for Namdeb Holdings (Pty) Ltd. He is a Chartered Accountant by training and brings to his new role a wealth of corporate experience spanning more than 20 years.

Debmarine Namibia Board Chairperson, Dr. Ndeulipula Hamutumwa said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Willy Mertens as CEO. Not only does Mertens have a deep understanding of our business, he also has an acute appreciation of the strategic role of Debmarine Namibia within the broader context of Namibia.

“We also wish to thank Otto Shikongo for his invaluable service to Debmarine Namibia. His leadership, engineering knowledge and business acumen has steered the organisation through many achievements.”

Otto Shikongo

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “I extend my sincere appreciation to Otto Shikongo, who has played a pivotal role in making Debmarine Namibia the world class leader it is today. On behalf of everyone at De Beers Group, I thank Otto for his 35 years of outstanding service. At the same time, we are delighted that Willy will succeed Otto. Willy has been a key member of the Debmarine Namibia leadership team for the last 10 years, and I look forward to his leadership as CEO.”

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