Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) (TSX: WLT), a leading producer of metallurgical coal for the steel industry, announced today that Keith Calder has tendered his resignation as Chief Executive Officer and a director, effective July 31, 2011. The Board has named Board member Joseph B. Leonard to succeed Mr. Calder as Interim Chief Executive Officer at that time.
Mr. Leonard served as Walter Energy’s Interim Chief Executive Officer from March 2010 through March 2011. The Board has engaged Spencer Stuart to initiate a search, within Walter Energy and externally, for a permanent Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Calder informed the Board in his letter of resignation that he is resigning due to differences of opinion concerning management philosophy. Said Mr. Calder, “I do believe Walter Energy has immense potential and I am sure it will be realized. That said, it is now time for me to move on and pursue other interests.”
Michael T. Tokarz, the non-executive Chairman of the Board, said, “We accept Keith’s decision to resign and appreciate his desire to move on. We thank him for helping us through the transition and integration of Walter Energy and Western Coal into one company — the new Walter Energy. Most important, we are confident that the company, under the direction of Joe Leonard, will continue its current momentum.”