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NPR News has learned that Massey Energy executive Chris Adkins will not be part of the executive team at Alpha Natural Resources following today's merger of the two coal companies.
Adkins was Chief Operating Officer at Massey and Alpha announced last month that Adkins would be jointly responsible for implementing Alpha's "Running Right" safety program after the merger. That announcement drew severe criticism from the independent team investigating the Upper Big Branch mine explosion, as well as two members of Congress and the United Mine Workers of America. Adkins presided over Massey when the company had a corporate safety "culture in which wrongdoing became acceptable, where deviation became the norm," according investigators.
In an interview with NPR, Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield said, "Chris [Adkins] will not be joining Alpha. I'm not going to say anything more about it."
Crutchfield declined to say whether Adkins decided not to take the position or whether the job offer was withdrawn.
Update at 4:49 p.m. ET. On The Other Executives:
Crutchfield also declined to discuss the circumstances of other Massey executives and managers who are moving into the management ranks at Alpha.
"Those are the decisions that have been to date and we stand by them," Crutchfield said. "But if there's a need to create a course correction in the future then that's exactly what we'll do."
Crutchfield added that a massive training effort is planned with 600 sessions focused on the Alpha "Running Right" safety program. "It's not a suggestion," Crutchfield insisted. "This is the way we will run our company. At the end of the day, a ton of coal is not worth a life."