Westmoreland names CONSOL veteran King as new president

Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. (NasdaqGM:WLB), which produces western coal for largely captive power plants, said March 13 that Robert King is joining the company as its new President and COO, effective March 26.

King brings more than 30 years of operational coal mining experience to Westmoreland. Keith Alessi, Westmoreland’s current CEO and President, who has been with the company since 2007, will continue in the role of CEO.

Most recently at CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX), a coal producer mostly in the eastern U.S., King served as Executive Vice President-Business Advancement and Support Services of CONSOL Energy and affiliate CNX Gas since January 2009. King was Senior Vice President-Administration at CONSOL from February 2007 until January 2009, with responsibility for strategy, mergers and acquisitions, supply chain management, permitting, environmental services, research and development and Fairmont Supply Co.

Prior to joining CONSOL in 2006, King held numerous positions with Interwest Mining Co., a coal mining subsidiary of PacifiCorp, beginning in November 1990. These positions included Vice President-Operations and Engineering and General Manager at Centralia Mining Co., which ran a now-shut strip coal mine in the Pacific Northwest. That PacifiCorp connection gives King more of a background in the kind of large-scale strip mining done by Westmoreland.

“The addition of Bob King as President and Chief Operating Officer rounds out our executive team that will continue to grow Westmoreland,” said Richard Klingaman, Westmoreland’s Chairman of the Board. “His broad leadership experience in the coal industry will add depth to our strategic vision.”

“Since Bob joined CONSOL Energy in 2006 as President of CNX Land Resources, he has contributed his engineering and managerial expertise to our leadership team by overseeing several divisions of the company,” commented J. Brett Harvey, CEO of CONSOL. “Bob was instrumental in developing the framework of some recent partnerships that have transformed CONSOL Energy into a leading diversified fuel producer and we are grateful for his guidance in that process. On behalf of all CONSOL Energy employees, we wish Bob well in his future endeavors.” Harvey, by the way, also has a coal mining background at PacifiCorp.

As President of Westmoreland, King will be responsible for the day-to-day operations. Alessi, as CEO, will continue to focus on strategic initiatives and value creation opportunities for the company.

Westmoreland Coal’s operations include coal mining in the Powder River Basin in Montana, sub-bituminous mining in Wyoming, and lignite mining operations in Montana, North Dakota and Texas. Its power operations include ownership of the two-unit ROVA coal-fired power plant in North Carolina.

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.