Duke Energy CEO will step down because of how he iced the previous guy
You may remember the tenure of Bill Johnson as CEO of Duke Energy. It was a halcyon time for the corporation, that one day in July before Johnson was ousted by Jim Rogers.
There were some people who thought it was kind of weird that Johnson should serve one day, “resign,” and take home $44 million for his hard work. People like the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which has now demanded that Rogers take a hike, too.
From the Associated Press:
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will step down as head of the largest U.S. electric utility by the end of 2013 as part of a settlement with the North Carolina utilities regulator that ends an investigation into the company’s takeover of in-state rival Progress Energy. …
Hours after the merger was completed July 2, Duke Energy’s board ousted Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, who was supposed to take over the combined company. It had promised to keep him in place throughout the 18-month process of merging the two Fortune 500 energy companies headquartered in North Carolina. The deal created the nation’s largest electric company. …
While Duke Energy denied wrongdoing, the utilities commission said the settlement includes the company issuing a statement acknowledging it has “fallen short of the commission’s understanding of Duke’s obligations” as a regulated utility.
The important/good/interesting news for the people of North Carolina: Duke will also use $25 million in merger-related savings to lower rates as opposed to paying stockholders.
Where will Rogers go next? Well, he spent his time as head of Duke wisely, building political connections sufficient to land him a speaking role during the Democratic National Convention. (During that speech he didn’t once mention Duke Energy.) And if Johnson’s career path is any guide, Rogers will land on his feet: Johnson is now the head of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest public utility in the country. (He earns less than $44 million a day, however.)
And if all else fails, Rogers could run for office. After all, there’s a North Carolina House seat that could be easily contested in two years.
Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.