I have mixed feelings about this. When someone like Don Blankenship is the face of Massey Energy (it's not every day that people are calling for your CEO's arrest on homicide charges), people pay a lot more attention to what they're doing. I'd hope they're not just going to look for a kinder, gentler version of the same management style. Via Huffington Post:
The calls to oust Massey Energy Company Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship began in earnest Monday, with members of both the private and public sectors getting involved.
The CtW Investment Group sent a letter to Massey's board of directors Monday afternoon demanding Blankenship's resignation in the wake of the disastrous explosion at the company's Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.
CtW had previously warned the board that its minimal oversight over Blankenship's regime exposed Massey and its shareholders to "unnecessary legal, regulatory, and reputational risks" -- apparently vindicated in that judgment, the investment group deems the Upper Big Branch disaster a "tragic consequence" of Blankenship's "confrontational approach to regulatory compliance."
He's not fond of investigative reporters, either. (Check out his reaction to an ABC News camera crew at about the one-minute mark in the above video.)
Earlier Monday, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli likewise called for Blankenship's resignation. And DiNapoli is no idle politico: As the sole trustee of New York's Common Retirement Fund, he has direct control over some 303,550 shares of Massey stock, valued at $14.1 million.
"Massey's cavalier attitude toward risk and callous disregard for the safety of its employees has exacted a horrible cost on dozens of hard-working miners and their loved ones," DiNapoli said in a statement. "This tragedy was a failure both of risk management and effective board oversight. Blankenship must step down and make room for more responsible leadership at Massey."