Michael Quillen to retire as chairman at Alpha Natural Resources in May

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Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. in Bristol, a leading U.S. coal producer, announced Tuesday that Michael J. Quillen will retire as chairman of the board of directors at the annual meeting of stockholders on May 17. The company said Quillen, chairman since 2006, decided not to stand for re-election.

Concurrent with the May election of the slate of directors, Alpha’s board has selected company CEO Kevin S. Crutchfield to succeed Quillen immediately following the annual meeting. Glenn A. Eisenberg, a member of the Alpha board since 2005, continues as lead independent director.

Quillen, 63, formed Alpha in 2002. Over the past 10 years, he headed the company during its initial public offering in 2005 and through a series of more than a dozen mergers and acquisitions. Under his tenure the company has grown to become one of the nation’s largest coal suppliers and the sixth-largest coal supplier worldwide. “As Alpha’s founder I will always have strong and emotional ties to the company, and especially to the miners and all other employees that have made Alpha such a success,” Quillen said in a statement. “Together with the rest of the board of directors, I have full confidence in Kevin and the management team, the actions they have taken to strengthen and grow Alpha, and the strategy they have charted for Alpha’s future.”

“In 10 years Alpha has gone from a concept on a piece of paper to a global leader in the coal industry, thanks to Mike’s vision, leadership and caring for people,” said Crutchfield. “While we will miss his wisdom and counsel on the board, his legacy at Alpha will endure.”

From 2008 to 2011, Alpha’s annual coal sales grew nearly three-fold through two major transactions. In July 2009, as chairman and CEO, Quillen initiated Alpha’s merger with Maryland-based Foundation Coal Holdings Inc., the nation’s fourth-largest coal company at the time. In June 2011, Alpha completed a $6.7 billion acquisition of Richmond-based Massey Energy Co., with Quillen serving as chairman of the combined companies.

Quillen continues to be active in various civic and charitable causes, including the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors where he chairs the audit and finance committee and as chairman of the Virginia Port Authority. Last year, this magazine named him its 2011 Virginia Business Person of the Year.

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