Phillips has been deputy director of the agency for the last decade. During that time, he has participated in numerous mine disaster investigations, including Sago and Aracoma.
Wooten had held the director seat since 2006. His resignation was effective November 3.
“CA Phillips is recognized throughout the mining community as a strong leader and a man who cares deeply about mine safety,” West Virginian governor Joe Manchin said.
“His leadership and experience will make this a smooth transition for the agency, its employees and the mining industry.”
Phillips, a 41-year veteran of the industry, has worked at private companies and also held several positions with the United Mine Workers of America.
During his time at the UMWA, he was international representative for the union’s occupational health and safety department, international executive board member for District 29 and District 17, and was an international representative assigned to health and safety.
He also holds West Virginian fire boss and mine foreman-fire boss certifications and is an MSHA 40 and 80-hour instructor.
Manchin said of Wooten, “His leadership and knowledge of the industry has given us insight and has helped us through trying times.”
The WVOMSHT said Wednesday that the seat of acting deputy director, to replace Phillips, would be held by Eugene White.