Another Alpha exec shake-up: Vining named as president

RAPIDLY growing producer Alpha Natural Resources has appointed chief commercial officer Paul Vining to also serve as its president, succeeding a retiring Kurt Kost.
Another Alpha exec shake-up: Vining named as president Another Alpha exec shake-up: Vining named as president Another Alpha exec shake-up: Vining named as president Another Alpha exec shake-up: Vining named as president Another Alpha exec shake-up: Vining named as president


Donna Schmidt

The combined seat progresses the company’s plan to merge operations, sales and marketing into an expanded leadership role.

Vining will continue to oversee both sales and marketing efforts while also having responsibility over Alpha's mining operations, a responsibility currently held by Kost.

He will continue reporting to Alpha chief executive officer Kevin Crutchfield.

Kost will remain in the area following his retirement and will continue serving the company in an advisory capacity to both Vining and Crutchfield until May 31, 2013.

“Paul brings vast leadership experience in the global coal industry to this newly expanded role, and I firmly believe that combining our mining operations with our sales and marketing efforts at this time will create the most effective business model for Alpha and provide new opportunities for growth and synergy,” Crutchfield said.

“[He] has spent his career building successful organizations across the globe in the coal industry and his experience in this area will help propel Alpha’s continued growth in the years ahead.”

Crutchfield also praised Kost, who led Alpha through its integrations of Foundation Coal as well as Massey Energy following their respective 2009 and 2011 takeovers and called his involvement a “critical factor” to the producer’s success.

“I appreciate all of his contributions to our Running Right culture and his unrelenting focus on safety and continuous improvement in our operations.”

Vining, a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Columbia University, joined Alpha in 2001 as executive vice president and CCO but first began his industry career as an engineer for St Joe Minerals.

He transitioned to sales and marketing in the early 1980s, holding seats with AT Massey and two major international oil company coal subsidiaries, Occidental Petroleum and ENI/Italy.

He joined Peabody Energy in 1995 and in 2006 accepted the role of CEO for Magnum/Trout Coal – a company sold two years later to Peabody spin-off Patriot Coal.

The announcement comes just weeks after Michael Quillen’s March announcement that he would retire from his seat as board chairman and director.

The four-decade coal industry veteran, credited with the founding of Alpha a decade ago, will be succeeded by CEO Kevin Crutchfield.

Quillen, 63, has steered the Virginia-based company through more than a dozen acquisitions, as well as a 2005 initial public offering.

On March 20 he said he would not stand for re-election at the company’s May 17 annual stockholder meeting but would remain in his position until that time.

The executive served as Alpha chairman since 2006, taking the post two years after his 2004 board appointment.

Crutchfield’s appointment will become effective immediately after the meeting.

“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 at the time.

“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.”

Crutchfield added that Quillen’s legacy would endure.

“In ten years, Alpha has gone from a concept on a piece of paper to a global leader in the coal industry, thanks to Mike's vision, leadership and caring for people,” he said.

“I’m particularly pleased that Mike has agreed to lend his insight in the development of our new safety leadership academy in West Virginia.”

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