ST. LOUIS, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) today announced that its board of directors has elected Kenneth D. Cochran as senior vice president of operations for the corporation. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120727/CG47668LOGO) "Ken is a proven leader with a tremendous record of success in the critical areas of safety, environmental stewardship and operational excellence," said John W. Eaves, Arch's president and CEO. "He is the ideal person for this new and expanded role, and I am confident that he will lead our operations to an even stronger level of performance in the years ahead." In this new position, Cochran will have responsibility for all of the company's mining operations and new development projects. He also will be joining Arch's senior officer team, which has broad responsibility for strategy development, policy formation and capital allocation. Cochran will report to Paul A. Lang, Arch's executive vice president and chief operating officer, and will relocate to St. Louis. Cochran most recently led Arch's western operations as group president. He previously served as president of Thunder Basin Coal Company for five years. During his tenure, Thunder Basin completed a highly successful integration of the Black Thunder and Jacobs Ranch mines. Prior to joining Arch Coal, Cochran spent 20 years with TXU Corporation. Cochran holds a bachelor's degree in mining engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is a licensed professional engineer in two states. He currently serves on the board of directors of Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview and the management board of Knight Hawk Coal Company. In addition, Cochran served for three years on the board of directors of the Wyoming Business Coalition on Health. U.S.-based Arch Coal is a top five global coal producer and marketer. Arch is the most diversified American coal company, with mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. Its core business is supplying cleaner-burning, low-sulfur thermal and metallurgical coal to power generators and steel manufacturers on five continents.