This was not done in the nick of time.
Nick DeIuliis has succeeded J. Brett Harvey as chief executive officer of Consol Energy Inc., a transition that occurred Wednesday morning during the company’s annual meeting. In reality, it was a move that was in the making for years, and was no surprise when it was announced.
DeIuliis, 45, has been president of Cecil Township-based Consol for the past three years, and will retain that title along with being CEO. He also was elected to the board of directors.
Harvey, 63, was the CEO for a quarter-century. He assumed the new position of executive chairman.
“Nick is well-prepared to lead Consol Energy into a very exciting chapter in our 150-year history,” Harvey said in a statement. “Nick’s vision, values and commitment will be a strong asset to our shareholders, employees, customers and community partners moving forward.”
DeIuliis, an employee for 23 years, is leading a changing company. Consol started out in 1864 as Consolidation Coal Co. and maintained that heritage for nearly a century and a half.
It still produces coal, including at the local Bailey, Enlow Fork and BMX mines. But Consol is now more focused on exploring and producing natural gas and is a major player in Marcellus Shale.
Over the past two years, Consol has sold more than half of its coal mines, including five longwall operations in West Virginia late last year to Murray Energy Corp. Then last Friday, it announced the layoffs of 188 workers at its Buchanan Mine in southwest Virginia, citing a drop in global demand for metallurgical coal.
Harvey and DeIuliis have shifted positions, but are still at the top of their Southpointe firm. They not only have worked together for years, but were side by side April 17, ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. That was an acknowledgement of Consol’s 150-year history and 15 years of trading on the NYSE.
Talk about a ringing endorsement.