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Peabody Energy announces new leadership appointments

Staff writer |
St. Louis, Mo., USA - October 24, 2012, St. Louis, Mo., USA - Peabody Energy, a coal company, has named Eric Ford as chairman of Peabody's Australia Business Unit, Charles F. Meintjes as president, Australia and Kemal Williamson as president, Americas, effective November 15, 2012.




Mr. Ford is President of the Australia business unit of Peabody Energy. He joined Peabody in 2007, and has executive responsibility for the company’s Australia operations, including the areas of health and safety; operational support; sales and marketing; finance and administration; business development; government relations; human resources; communications and community relations; as well as oversight of the law function in Australia.

Mr. Ford was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Peabody. He has more than 40 years of extensive international management, operating and engineering experience in the industry. Prior to joining Peabody, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Anglo Coal Australia Pty Ltd. He held a series of increasingly complex operating assignments at Anglo, including Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American's joint venture coal mining operation in Colombia and Executive Director of Operations of Anglo Platinum Corporation Limited.

Mr. Ford holds a Master of Science degree in management sciences from Imperial College in London and a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Compass Minerals based in Kansas City, Mo., and served as Deputy Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency. He also has served as Vice Chairman and Director of the Minerals Council of Australia.

Mr. Meintjes is Acting President of the Peabody Energy Americas business unit. In this role, he has executive responsibility for the company’s U.S. operations, a joint venture in Venezuela and business development opportunities. He also oversees the areas of health and safety; operational support; sales and marketing; finance and administration; human resources and the law function.

Mr. Meintjes has extensive senior operational, strategy, continuous improvement and information technology experience with mining companies on three continents. He also has led financial and technical functions, large re-engineering programs, information technology system implementations and large industrial construction projects.

Mr. Meintjes joined Peabody in 2007, and most recently served as Group Executive of Midwest and Colorado Operations. Other past positions with the company include Senior Vice President of Operations Improvement and Senior Vice President Engineering and Continuous Improvement. Prior to joining Peabody, he served as a consultant to Exxaro Resources Limited in South Africa, and is a former Executive Director and Board Member for Kumba Resources Limited in South Africa.

Mr. Meintjes also served on the boards of two public companies, AST Gijima in South Africa and Ticor Limited in Australia. He has senior management experience in the steel and the aluminum industry with Iscor and Alusaf in South Africa. Mr. Meintjes holds dual Bachelor of Commerce degrees in accounting from Rand Afrikaans University and the University of South Africa. He is a Chartered Accountant in South Africa, and completed the advanced management program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business.

Most recently, Mr. Williamson served as Group Vice President of Operations and led Peabody's U.S. mining operations in the Midwest, Southwest and Colorado. He has more than 25 years of experience in mining engineering and operations.

The company also announced the following appointments:

George J. Schuller has been named Group Executive of Operations for Peabody Energy Australia, replacing Williamson. Most recently, Mr. Schuller served as Group Executive Operations for the Powder River Basin and Southwest in the Americas business unit. Mr. Schuller has more than a quarter century of operational experience with Peabody subsidiaries in both the United States and Australia.

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