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Peabody announces termination of its chief operating officer

Peabody announces termination of its chief operating officer

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Peabody, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, announced the termination of Charles Meintjes, its executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective Friday.

The St. Louis company disclosed the move last week in a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Peabody said Meintjes, who had been with the company since 2007, “will leave to pursue other interests.”

The filing said Meintjes’ separation from the company constituted termination “without cause,” and did not result from a disagreement over operations, policies, practices, controls or finances.

But the termination does not meet the 90-day notice period required under Peabody’s executive severance plan, so the company will pay Meintjes a lump sum of $133,700.

The move comes amid a particularly rough stretch for the coal business.

In April, the company laid off 170 workers at the largest coal mine in the country, near Wright, Wyoming. In May, Peabody fell out of the Fortune 500 after its revenue fell 17% in 2019 — knocking it from 499th to 582nd place in Fortune magazine’s rankings of the largest companies in the U.S.

And last month, Peabody announced more than $1.5 billion in net losses in the prior quarter. The company also said that its overall workforce has been reduced by 24% over the past 18 months.

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