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Massey Energy CEO To Retire

Massey Energy CEO To Retire - Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy (MEE.N) and one of the most powerful U.S. coal industry leaders, said on Friday he would retire at the end of December, eight months after 29 miners died at one of Massey's mines.

"After almost three decades at Massey it is time for me to move on," Blankenship said at the end of a week in which Massey shut down a Kentucky mine for safety violations and a judge ruled that Blankenship must face two lawsuits holding him personally responsible for the blast at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia,

Massey, based in Richmond, Virginia, has been under increasing scrutiny by federal mine safety regulators since the April 5 explosion, the deadliest U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years.

The company's financial results have suffered since April, and Massey has said it was weighing strategic options, sparking market speculation that one of its peers may look to buy it.

Blankenship, an outspoken advocate for coal, has attracted the ire of environmentalists for Massey's surface, or mountain-top, mining in Appalachia, Virginia, which they blame for water pollution.

He has also been criticized by trade unions because of Massey's use of nonunion labor.

Massey Energy CEO To Retire

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