Blankenship to net $US12M retirement

DEPARTING Massey Energy chairman and chief executive Don Blankenship is set to receive $US12 million and other benefits upon his retirement at the end of the year.
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Don Blankenship

Donna Schmidt

According to a company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Blankenship will receive a cash payment of $2 million December 31 and another $10 million July 1 next year.

He will also receive health insurance, a consultant retainer of $5000 per month plus expenses for two years, and will have a secretary and access to his main office in Kentucky for up to five years.

In return, Blankenship is bound to a two-year non-compete clause and may not hire employees away from Massey during that time, the documentation said.

The Massey executive announced his retirement last Friday. Admiral Bobby Inman will succeed Blankenship as non-executive chairman, and Baxter Phillips Jr – who will now receive $1.1 million annually in compensation – will become CEO.

Blankenship took the seat of chairman and CEO in November 2000. Between then and November 2008, he concurrently held the seat of president.

He has also been chairman, CEO and president of AT Massey Coal, Massey’s wholly owned and sole direct operating subsidiary, since 1992.

Blankenship joined the company’s Rawl Sales and Processing arm in 1982. He was president of the Massey Coal Services subsidiary from 1989 to 1991, and president and chief operating officer from 1990 to 1991.

Massey noted last week that, in the 10 years since becoming a public company, Blankenship had driven the company’s growth and nearly doubled staff from 3662 employees in 2000 to more than 7300 today. Its market capitalization has increased from $758 million in 2000 to about $5 billion today, and annual revenue has risen from $1.08 billion in 2000 to $2.7 billion in 2009.

Phillips became president of Massey Energy in November 2008. Before that, he was executive vice-president and chief administrative officer from 2004, senior vice-president and chief financial officer from 2003 to 2004, and vice-president and treasurer from 2000 to 2003. Since joining Massey in 1981, he has also served as corporate treasurer, manager of export sales and corporate human resources manager, among other roles.

Massey is the fourth-largest producer in the US, with 19 mining complexes in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.