Patriot restructures finance team as troubles mount

PATRIOT Coal has announced management changes intended to reinforce its finance team as the beleaguered coal miner continues to reorganize amid a high-profile bankruptcy case and faltering operational performance.
Patriot restructures finance team as troubles mount Patriot restructures finance team as troubles mount Patriot restructures finance team as troubles mount Patriot restructures finance team as troubles mount Patriot restructures finance team as troubles mount

Irl Engelhardt, courtesy Patriot Coal

Justin Niessner

Effective immediately, Mark Schroeder was today named senior vice president of financial planning with responsibility to maximize value created from the reorganization process.

Finance committee chair John Lushefski will step down from the Patriot board to succeed Schroeder as chief financial officer and chief accounting officer.

“Patriot is fortunate to be able to draw on the services of these two outstanding professionals as the company continues to address the challenges presented by a rapidly changing industry,” Patriot chairman and chief executive Irl Engelhardt said.

“Jack Lushefski is a highly accomplished financial executive with prior experience as the CFO of several companies. Having worked closely with him on the Patriot board, I am confident that Jack’s financial expertise, leadership talents and industry experience will provide added strength and depth to the Patriot team.

Engelhardt also noted that Schroeder’s repositioning as financial planning VP was an important element to the company’s future success.

“Mark will continue to be a member of our executive team and assist Patriot with financial planning and other aspects of the restructuring, while continuing to provide financial expertise to all facets of the organization,” he said.

Lushefski and Schroeder will report to Engelhardt and the executives formerly reporting to Schroeder will now report to Lushefski.

The reorganization effort follows closely on confirmation from Patriot last week that it would temporarily cut its Appalachian metallurgical production, curtailing about 85,000 tons per month of coal over the next 60 days.

Patriot filed for bankruptcy protection July 9 and has since received bankruptcy court approval for a $US802 million debtor-in-possession finance package.

The company, the first to seek court protection for its financial situation since coal markets tanked, blamed cancelled contracts, rising costs and plummeting coal prices for its woes.

Patriot holds 12 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin, and controls about 1.9 billion tons of coal reserves.

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