CanAm completes executive shuffle

CANADIAN producer CanAm Coal has appointed Jos De Smedt as its chief executive officer, five weeks after chief executive Tim Bergen opted to step down and take over the role of vice-chairman of the company’s board.

Donna Schmidt

The transition is effective immediately.

Bergen will be responsible for CanAm’s business development, while former IBM and PriceWaterhouseCoopers official Smedt will bring his leadership skills and operations background to the company.

“Jos De Smedt and Tim Bergen have proven to be outstanding partners over the past several years, as we have grown the company consistently in our goal to achieve 1 million tons of production, with a high degree of margin certainty,” board chairman Jon Legg said.

“Over the next several years, the company is fully focused on executional excellence and consistently delivering results that will allow the company to grow organically and ultimately through further acquisitions. Jos … has consistently managed complexity and volatility in an optimal manner.”

When the executive shuffle was announced in late October, Legg detailed the impetus behind Bergen’s move, which in part is for him to oversee the development of CanAm’s one to three-year expansion plan, including identifying and evaluating high-value development projects and opportunities to develop a seaborne market.

“Under Tim Bergen’s leadership, CanAm successfully transitioned from a development company to a full production company, which has delivered exponential growth highlighted by the acquisition of an 80% interest in Birmingham Coal & Coke,” he said.

“With this acquisition completed, the company is fully focused on operational execution and delivering strong financial results.”

Earlier this year the company announced the appointment of a mergers and acquisitions specialist as its corporate finance executive as well as a new chief financial officer.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce veteran Steve Somerville was named corporate finance executive in August as the company increased its stake in Birmingham Coal & Coke.

In June, Scott Bolton replaced De Smedt as CFO.

CanAm owns four coal operations in Alabama as well as the Buick coal project in Colorado, which has 188 million tons indicated and 103Mt inferred resources.

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