Ford, formerly chief executive of Anglo Coal before joining Peabody in 2007 where he was made chief operating officer, is now one of the most powerful figures in the Australian coal industry, with the company's local operations contributing half of its $US2.13 billion in earnings.
Ford has 41 years of international management experience including 10 years managing Australian operations.
He held a series of increasingly complex operating assignments at Anglo, including chief executive officer of Anglo American's joint venture coal mining operation in Colombia and executive director of operations of Anglo Platinum Corporation Limited.
Ford holds a Master of Science degree in management sciences from Imperial College in London and a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He is a member of the board of directors of Compass Minerals and served as deputy chairman and member of the executive committee of the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency.
He also has served as vice chairman and director of the Minerals Council of Australia.
Last month Bradley E Phillips was named senior vice president of transition services for Peabody in Australia. In this role Phillips will continue to lead the organisational integration of Macarthur Coal and Peabody Energy Australia
Peabody Energy chairman and chief executive officer Gregory H. Boyce said the reorganisation positioned Peabody for “maximum success” amid unique geographic market conditions and opportunities, by committing dedicated business unit teams to manage all aspects of the platform including safety, operations, marketing, project delivery and support functions.
The new organisation would focus on the integration of newly acquired assets and the delivery of organic growth projects, he said.
"With our recent acquisition, the size of our global platform has grown significantly and reached a logical point to bring a greater business focus at geographic and market levels, while maintaining controls and key centralised functions at the corporate level," he said.
"As the largest global pure-play coal investment, Peabody has a growing platform in Australia, multiple initiatives in Asia, an expanding coal trading business and the premier portfolio in the United States."
In other appointments in the reorganisation, Richard A. Navarre has been named president – Americas. Navarre has nearly 30 years of experience including 19 years with Peabody, where he helped build the US and global business.
He most recently was president and chief commercial officer and has held a number of other executive positions including chief financial officer.
Chris Hagedorn has been named president – Asia and coal trading. He most recently served as Peabody's senior vice president of global sales and trading support, and he also has led Peabody's supply chain management and business performance functions.
"With major international and US operations and sales and trading activities, it is a natural evolution to refocus our resources and talents to deliver enhanced results across our global platform," Boyce said.