ST. LOUIS, Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today announced several changes to its board of directors.
Chairman Steven F. Leer, 61, will retire from Arch's board following the company's annual shareholder meeting on April 24. Leer served as the company's chief executive officer from 1997 to 2012, and as president of Arch Mineral Corporation, a predecessor company, from 1992 to 1997. He was elected chairman in 2006.
"It has been a tremendous honor to work with the talented men and women of Arch Coal for much of the past four decades, and to serve as the company's board chairman for the past eight years," Leer said. "With Wes Taylor as incoming chair and John Eaves as CEO, the company is in exemplary hands, and I am confident that the board and management team are forging a path to continued success. Arch is a great company with a bright future, and I look forward to following its progress in the years ahead."
"It has been a privilege to work closely with Steve for the past 20 years," said John W. Eaves, Arch's president and chief executive officer. "He has provided tremendous leadership to Arch and its predecessor organizations, and we wish him the very best on his long-planned and well-earned retirement from the board."
Wesley M. Taylor, 71, will succeed Leer as chairman. Taylor joined Arch's board in 2005 and was elected lead independent director in 2013. Prior to joining the Arch board, Taylor served as president of TXU Generation for 13 years and president of Dallas Power & Light for three years during a 38-year tenure with TXU.
"I am honored to accept this new role," Taylor said. "Arch Coal has world-class coal reserves, exceptional mining assets and some of the most talented people in the U.S. mining sector. I look forward to working with the board and the management team to ensure that the company realizes its full potential while generating significant long-term value for its shareholders."
"Wes is a proven leader with great vision and a deep understanding of U.S. and global energy markets," said Eaves. "He is uniquely equipped to lead the board during this period of unprecedented change in the U.S. coal industry, and I look forward to working with him to address the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that are sure to arise in such a dynamic market environment."
A graduate of Texas A&M University with BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering, Taylor currently serves on the board of FirstEnergy Corporation. He is a past chairman of the National Coal Council and a former member of the board of the National Mining Association and the Coal-Based Generation Stakeholders Group.
In addition, Arch announced that Paul A. Lang, Arch's executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been elected to the company's board of directors, effective immediately.
"Paul has made a significant contribution to Arch's growth and success in recent years," Eaves said. "He has played a key role in establishing Arch as the industry leader in safety and environmental stewardship, demonstrated a passion for continuous improvement across the entire mining platform, and helped the company penetrate new markets overseas. His election to the board is a logical next step, and I am confident he will be a great addition."
In his current capacity, Lang has responsibility for the mining and marketing of all of Arch's coal production, which totaled nearly 140 million tons in 2013, as well as its trading, transportation, corporate procurement and process improvement efforts.
Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the corporation's executive vice president of operations and senior vice president of operations. He has held various other engineering, operations and management positions in both the eastern and western United States during his 30-year tenure, including president and general manager of Arch's Powder River Basin and southern Wyoming operations. He currently serves on the boards of Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. and Knight Hawk Coal Company. Lang also serves on the development board of the Mining Department of the Missouri University of Science & Technology, and is chairman of the University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources Council. He is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla) with a bachelor's degree in mining engineering, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. is one of the world's top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries, serving customers on five continents. Its network of mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. The company controls more than 5 billion tons of high-quality metallurgical and thermal coal reserves, with access to all major railroads, inland waterways and a growing number of seaborne trade channels. For more information, visit www.archcoal.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains "forward-looking statements" – that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," or "will." Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, particular uncertainties arise from changes in the demand for our coal by the domestic electric generation industry; from legislation and regulations relating to the Clean Air Act and other environmental initiatives; from operational, geological, permit, labor and weather-related factors; from fluctuations in the amount of cash we generate from operations; from future integration of acquired businesses; and from numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business, competitive or regulatory nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. For a description of some of the risks and uncertainties that may affect our future results, you should see the risk factors described from time to time in the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.