The Board of Directors of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) , the largest U.S. coal producer, on Oct. 22 elected Robert A. Malone to the non-executive role of Chairman of the Board, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The veteran executive has been serving as Lead Independent Director of Peabody since January 2013. He will succeed Gregory H. Boyce, who will retire from Peabody effective Dec. 31, 2015, concluding a comprehensive leadership continuity initiative that began in 2012.
“Today marks the successful completion of a multi-year succession planning process,” said President and CEO Glenn Kellow. “On behalf of the Board of Directors we thank Greg for his many years of service and wish him the best in retirement. We also welcome Bob to this position as a valued advisor and well-regarded energy and mining veteran. Bob is particularly suited to lead a skilled board that is energized to navigate the current environment.”
The “current environment” refers to a depressed coal market that has gone on for over three years now and has caused bankruptcy filings by several of Peabody’s competitors, including Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal.
Malone has extensive global executive and operational experience, and has served as a member of Peabody’s Compensation, Executive, and Nominating and Corporate Governance committees. He is the retired Executive Vice President of British Petroleum (BP) plc and former Chairman of the Board and President of BP America Inc.
Boyce had joined Peabody in 2003 as President and Chief Operating Officer and served as Chief Executive Officer from 2006 to 2015. He also has served as Chairman of the Board in an executive capacity since 2007. Under Boyce’s leadership, the company expanded significantly into Australia, increased its global trading platform, developed an Asia presence and completed several major acquisitions. Boyce’s industry leadership has included chairmanships of the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency, World Coal Association and National Mining Association.
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions. Major mines include the North Antelope Rochelle operation in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.