ST. LOUIS, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE: PCX), a leading producer and marketer of coal in the eastern United States, today announced a new executive leadership team to improve its operating and financial structure.
The following appointments by the Patriot Board of Directors are effective immediately:
- Irl F. Engelhardt has been named Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Richard M. Whiting, who is leaving Patriot after serving as President and CEO since 2007. As CEO, Engelhardt will have overall responsibility for the Company and will focus on corporate strategy, financing activities, corporate development and optimization of the Company's asset portfolio. Engelhardt will also continue to serve as Chairman of Patriot's Board of Directors.
- Bennett K. Hatfield has been named President and will continue to serve as Chief Operating Officer of Patriot. He will be responsible for overseeing the execution of Patriot's operations, sales and marketing plans. To help ensure that Patriot's operations anticipate and respond effectively to changing market conditions, the Company's marketing teams will now report directly to Hatfield.
- Michael M. Scharf has been named Lead Independent Director of the Patriot Board. He has been a member of the Board since 2007 and currently chairs Patriot's Nominating & Governance Committee.
Engelhardt said, "Ben and I will immediately focus on improving Patriot's competitive position as well as its financial structure to enhance value for our shareholders and all other groups who have a stake in the Company's success. Our team has successfully navigated the inherent cycles in the energy industry in the past, and I am confident Patriot can overcome the industry challenges that we currently face. As we move forward, I could not have a better operating partner than Ben, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and a deep knowledge of the coal industry in his 30-year career."