Massey ups ante for Blankenship

APPALACHIA-focused producer Massey Energy has extended chief executive officer Don Blankenship’s employment contract by two years and increased his total compensation package and performance-based incentives.
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Don Blankenship

Donna Schmidt

According to an 8K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed last week, Blankenship will remain in his seat through December 31, 2011. Other recent contracts had been under one-year terms.

Also, the executive will maintain an annual base salary of just under $US1 million, though the filing did acknowledge the 10% pay cut he and several other executives took last May in a cost-cutting measure.

However, he will receive larger cash and stock performance bonuses for the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years. One bonus listed in the filing is $1.5 million for the next two years, a significant increase over the $900,000 offered in his last agreement.

Also included in the official’s new deal are several stock-earning opportunities, including the right to 81,5000 shared for one group of performance targets in 2010 and 32,250 more for another target.

Some of the targets include sales volumes, safety performance, environmental violation reductions and financial results, the documentation outlined.

Massey did not release a public statement on the announcement late last week.

According to calculations by the Associated Press, Blankenship’s total compensation package in 2008 totaled $19.7 million, a drop of 17% over the year prior.

Comparatively for the same year, it estimated Peabody Energy chief executive Greg Boyce’s compensation at $7.5 million and Consol Energy chief executive Brett Harvey at about $12 million.

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