Peabody CEO Glenn Kellow said Yeates would have responsibility for all aspects of the company's operations, including sales and marketing, technical services, health and safety and supply chain.
"We welcome Darren's continued contributions and look forward to the expertise he will bring to this key leadership position," he said
Yeates has been a member of Peabody's board of directors since February and will remain on the board as a non-independent director.
He has more than 35 years of mining industry experience, recently serving as chief operating officer of MACH Energy Australia, a developer and supplier of thermal coal to both the Australian domestic and Asian export markets.
Yeates was also previously CEO of GVK Hancock Coal, and prior to that, spent more than 22 years with Rio Tinto in multiple positions, including acting managing director and chief operating officer for Coal Australia.
He is a director of Australian mining services company Emeco and a former director of Stanmore Coal.
Yeates has also recently served as CEO of WorkPac Group.