A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and Averett University, Sears joined AT Massey Coal Company in 1981 and over his tenure has held positions including sales representative and president of Massey Utility and Industrial Sales, and in 1984 founded the company's industrial sales division.
Massey said Sears spearheaded two milestone projects for Massey’s industrial sales area, including the establishment of Coal Handling Solutions, a partnership with Penn Virginia. The organisation develops, owns and operates material handling facilities at customer plants.
Additionally, he managed the formation of the joint venture Coalsolv between Massey and Shell Global Solutions. That group markets Cansolv liquid scrubber technology to US coal-fired facilities.
“Steve's more than 25 years with the sales department ideally positions him to help the company optimise revenue by continuing to create new business opportunities … as well as by providing increased coordination between the company's sales and operations areas," said Massey president Don Blankenship.
In November, Massey named Baxter Phillips Jr as the new company president to replace Blankenship. Blankenship will remain Massey’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Phillips is also a long-time Massey employee, having spent 27 years with the operator at the time of his appointment.