The diamond company said Kendall has played an “integral role” in leading the evolution of many of De Beers Group’s “downstream activities” since he joined the company in 2001.
Following Kendall’s retirement, Jamie Clark, who has 23 years of experience will be taking on the responsibility for managing the De Beers diamond laboratories.
Emanuela Morando will reportedly continue to head up client management and business development with Jodine Perrin continuing to lead the company’s consumer and trade education services programme.
Some of Kendall’s key achievements included helping to “modernise” the company’s approach to building stronger relationships with clients.
He also helped launch the original “Forevermark programme” in 2005 and undertook major “marketing campaigns” to support De Beers Group’s global leadership position.
In recent years, Kendall has led the development and launch of what is today known as “De Beers Group Industry Services and the Institute of Diamonds”, which offers “world-class” diamond grading, testing, synthetic detection technology and education services to the diamond trade.
He also oversaw the building of two globally recognised diamond laboratories in Antwerp and Surat.
Stephen Lussier, executive VP for Consumer and Brands at De Beers Group, said: “Jonnie has made a significant contribution both to De Beers and to the wider diamond industry over the past two decades and is highly regarded by colleagues and clients alike.
“His leadership and dedication to always acting in the best interests of the diamond industry in underpinning consumer desire for, and trust in, diamonds, will leave a lasting legacy.”
He added: “On behalf of everyone at De Beers, I extend my deepest appreciation to Jonnie and wish him all the very best for this next chapter.”