ST. LOUIS, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today announced that Robert W. Shanks has elected to retire as president of Arch's eastern U.S. operations on March 31 after 35 years of service. Gary L. Bennett, president and general manager of Arch's Coal-Mac, Inc. subsidiary, has been promoted to president of eastern operations, and J. Chris Sykes has been promoted from mine manager to general manager of Coal-Mac.
"Bob contributed to many of the major events that have shaped Arch Coal into the world-class company it is today," said John W. Eaves, Arch's president and chief operating officer. "We sincerely thank Bob for his outstanding contributions to Arch and thank him for serving us one last time with the management transition.
"Gary brings a wealth of industry experience and expertise to his new position as head of Arch's Eastern Operations," said Eaves. "He is a proven leader with a firm grasp of the Central Appalachian region, and I am confident he will create great value for the corporation in this new role."
Shanks joined Arch in 1976 as a hydrologist after completing his master's degree in civil engineering from Purdue University. He has held a number of engineering, operations and senior management positions during his tenure, most recently as president of eastern operations. Throughout the course of Shanks' career, he either worked at or was associated with every one of the company's operating divisions. In addition to his long and successful history in managing operations, he played significant roles in the Diamond Shamrock acquisition, the 1993 BCOA-UMWA contract negotiations, the Arch Mineral-Ashland Coal merger and the Atlantic Richfield Coal Company (ARCO) acquisition.
Bennett received a bachelor's degree in mining engineering from West Virginia Tech and joined Arch as a senior engineer in 1990. During his 21-year tenure with Arch, he has held various engineering and operating positions in West Virginia, St. Louis and Kentucky. Arch's four eastern general managers and the various staff functions in Charleston, W.Va., will report to Bennett. Bennett will be located in the Charleston office and will report to Senior Vice President of Operations Paul A. Lang.
Sykes earned a bachelor's degree in mining engineering from Virginia Tech and an executive master's degree in business administration from the University of Charleston, W.Va., in 1999. Sykes has 14 years of experience in the coal industry and with Arch Coal. Sykes most recently served as Coal-Mac's mine manager. He will report to Bennett.
St. Louis-based Arch Coal is one of the nation's largest and most efficient coal producers, with record revenues of $3.2 billion in 2010. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal to U.S. power producers to fuel roughly 8 percent of the nation's electricity. The company also ships coal to domestic and international steel manufacturers as well as international power producers.
SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.