Incumbent chairman and chief executive officer Irl F Engelhardt will continue his CEO duties through 2005, and will remain chairman of the Board when Boyce takes over. Boyce joined Peabody in October 2003 as president and chief operating officer.
Boyce has also been elected to the Board of Directors and was named chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board.
"Several years ago, I suggested to the Board that we begin an orderly succession planning process, a hallmark of a highly successful company. We have moved carefully through the process and have an excellent successor and transition plan in place," Engelhardt said.
"Under Greg's leadership as president and chief operating officer, Peabody has achieved record safety, productivity and production results, and I am confident that his experience and skills will lead Peabody to new heights. Greg and I will work together to ensure a seamless transfer, and I look forward to contributing to Peabody's success as chairman."
Boyce said Peabody had entered an extended period of industry growth, as coal is the only fuel source capable of meeting expanding global demand for energy.
“I will ensure that we continue our strong growth, focusing on safety, executing the basics, expanding our international presence, and participating in new generation projects and Btu Conversion technologies," he said.
Boyce has extensive US and international management, operating and engineering experience. Prior to joining Peabody, Boyce served as chief executive officer - energy for Rio Tinto in London, with responsibility for a worldwide coal and uranium portfolio.
Prior to that, he was president and chief executive officer of Kennecott Energy Company. During his tenure, Kennecott more than tripled sales volume and grew to become the second-largest U.S. coal company.
Boyce holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona, and completed the advanced management program from the Graduate School of Business at Harvard University.