Zurich, Switzerland– Swiss jewelry brand De Grisogono plans to cut as many as 41 jobs as sales of its high-end pieces have disappointed.
According to a recent report from Reuters, the company will eliminate 31 positions in Switzerland—out of 104 total, about 30 percent of its staff—as well as up to 10 others globally amid “challenging conditions in some key markets,” Reuters said.
The news story also noted the brand will scale back production capacity to reflect the atmosphere and focus on more affordable fine jewelry.
De Grisogono did not respond to a request for confirmation on the Reuters report by press time.
Founded by Fawaz Gruosi in 1993, De Grisogono reportedly is majority-controlled by Sindika Dokolo, the husband of Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and the richest woman in Africa, according to Forbes.
The former Angolan president came under fire during his tenure for naming family and allies to top business and government posts, and his family’s wealth was often contrasted with the dire poverty of the majority of the country’s citizens.
The reported connection between the Dos Santos family and De Grisogono had gem explorer and dealer Yianni Melas calling for a boycott of the brand across social media and going on a hunger strike in Geneva, Switzerland just as Christie’s was set to auction a De Grisogono necklace featuring a 163.41-carat flawless, D color diamond sourced in Angola.
The necklace sold, though the final buying price—$33.7 million—had some calling the result disappointing and speculating that the high end of the diamond market was struggling.
In late 2017, Angolan state-owned diamond company Sodiam, a subsidiary of national mining company Endiama, divested its stake in the brand as part of new President Joao Lourenco’s goal to distance the country from the business interests of his predecessor’s family.