"Ken has contributed greatly to the growth and success of Arch Coal over the years," Arch chief Steven Leer said.
"Under his direction, Arch's national network of mines has achieved industry leadership in such key areas of performance as safety, environmental stewardship and productivity. We are indebted to Ken for his many years of leadership and service, and we wish him the very best in his retirement."
Woodring joined one of Arch's predecessor companies, Ashland Coal, in 1977 and was elected senior vice president with responsibility for mining operations for Ashland Coal in 1989. When Ashland Coal and Arch Mineral merged in 1997 to form Arch Coal, Woodring was elected executive vice president of mining operations for the new company.
"Ken has played a pivotal role in the company's evolution, and he has served as a mentor to many of our best operating personnel. He has left his imprint on our company in many ways," Arch chief operating officer John Eaves said.
During his tenure at Arch Coal, the company's sales volume has grown from approximately 40 million tons in 1997 to nearly 140 million tons on a pro forma basis today.
Woodring will retire at the end of December but will continue in a consulting capacity on a number of strategic projects, including the development of Arch's recently announced Mountain Laurel longwall mine in Logan County, West Virginia.