Quillen calls it a career at coal producer Alpha Natural

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), which has grown tremendously since being formed early last decade, announced March 20 that Chairman of the Board Michael Quillen has chosen not to stand for re-election at the company’s 2012 annual meeting of stockholders scheduled on May 17 and will retire as chairman.

Quillen, 63, was one of the executives that formed Alpha in 2002 out of various operations like mines associated with American Metals & Coal International, and headed Alpha during its initial public offering in 2005 and through a series of more than a dozen mergers and acquisitions. In the 10 years Quillen has served in various executive and leadership capacities at Alpha, the company has grown to become one of the nation’s largest coal suppliers and the sixth-largest coal supplier worldwide. Quillen, who has served as chairman since 2006 and as a board member since 2004, will continue as chairman through the annual meeting.

Concurrent with the May election of the slate of directors, Alpha’s board has selected Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield to succeed Quillen as Chairman of the Board immediately following the May 17 annual meeting. Glenn Eisenberg, an Alpha board member since 2005, continues as lead independent director.

“As Alpha’s founder I will always have strong and emotional ties to the company, and especially to the miners and all other employees that have made Alpha such a success,” Quillen said.  “Together with the rest of the board of directors, I have full confidence in Kevin and the management team, the actions they have taken to strengthen and grow Alpha, and the strategy they have charted for Alpha’s future.”

Quillen got his start in the coal industry in 1974 and rose to leadership positions at several prominent mining companies including Pittston Coal and American Metals & Coal International. From 2008 to 2011, Alpha’s annual coal sales grew nearly three-fold through two major transactions. In July 2009, as chairman and CEO, Quillen initiated Alpha’s merger with Foundation Coal Holdings, the nation’s fourth-largest coal company at the time. In June 2011, Alpha completed the $6.7bn acquisition of Massey Energy, with Quillen serving as chairman of the combined companies.

With $7.1bn in total revenue in 2011, Alpha now ranks as America’s second-largest coal producer by revenue and third-largest by production.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.