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Speaker > Biography

David NokoDavid Noko

Managing Director
De Beers Consolidated Mines

Prior to joining De Beers, David started his career at GEC (now Alstom), an international manufacturing company, in design engineering and maintenance management.  During this time he enrolled at Wits Technikon, where he completed a diploma in mechanical engineering in 1984.  As a student engineer he was part of the project team that implemented Just-In-Time (JIT) philosophy at GEC.

In 1987, he joined South African Breweries and gained exposure in many different technical areas of the business, including the implementation of World Class Manufacturing Principles.  He was promoted to senior management level in 1991 and moved through the ranks before taking on new challenges in 1994. 

He then joined Pepsi Cola International, which provided him with extensive international and overseas experience.  He joined Air Chefs (Pty) Ltd, the largest company in South Africa at the time, in 1999 as CEO, where he continued to implement business and process reengineering, which resulted in significant cost savings for the company.

In June 2002, David joined De Beers at Corporate Headquarters in Johannesburg.  In January 2003, he was assigned to the role of General Manager; Engineering, before being appointed General Manager at Kimberley Mines, the historical home of diamonds in South Africa, in January 2004.

In Kimberley, David was fortunate to lead a team responsible for driving production to levels not seen since 1914 (two million carats in 2004). He also managed the cessation of the underground operations and built key relationships with both local and national government as well as the community.  David took over as Managing Director of DBCM from Jonathan Oppenheimer in February 2006.

At De Beers, David continues to provide direction, strategy and business leadership.  He initiated the principles of continuous business improvement, a philosophy he has learned during his career, as he aims to build the business to performance levels that are unprecedented.  A proponent of the inverted hierarchy, where employees are put at the top of the company structure and servant leadership.  David believes that by focusing on the frontline, continuously challenging employees to do better tomorrow than they have done today, and recognising and rewarding employees for a job well done, the company will achieve the best results.

David completed a Management Development Programme at Witwatersrand University in 1992 and a Masters in Business Administration at Heriot Watt University in 1998.  He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Company Direction from the Graduate Institute of Management Technology (GIMT). He also attended the Senior Executive Programme at the London Business School in 2006..

He believes that there are key imperatives to business success. He says that synergies in Effective People, Futuristic Strategy and Technology, Systems and Process will always deliver positives results.










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