"Massey's Blankenship To Retire Dec. 31"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Don Blankenship, the outspoken and controversial CEO of Massey Energy, will retire effective Dec. 31, the company announced late Friday.

The move comes amid persistent rumors that Richmond, Va.-based Massey will be sold to another mining firm, and as the company struggles to recover from the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in April, which killed 29 workers and was the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than 40 years.

In a prepared statement issued at about 6 p.m., Massey's board of directors gave no clear reason for the move, but said that Baxter Phillips, Massey's president, would take over as chairman and CEO."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette December 3, 2010.

SEE ALSO:

"Massey CEO Blankenship Expected To Testify Dec. 14" (AP)

"Mining CEO's Sudden Exit Follows Troubled Year" (NPR)

"Acquisition Looking More Likely for Massey" (Wall Street Journal)

"Under Fire Since Explosion, Mining C.E.O. Quits" (New York Times)

Monday, December 6, 2010