Duke Energy CEO to leave in NC merger settlement

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm •  Published: November 29, 2012
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When he took over as head of the combined companies, now called Duke Energy, his departure date was no longer set.

Johnson issued a statement wishing Rogers, the company and its employees well. Energy watchdog Jim Warren called the settlement deal a sell-out by regulators and pleaded for Cooper to stand up to the company.

"There's very little in this deal for the public," Warren said. "Don't buy the spin that the deal somehow penalizes CEO Rogers."

The commission is scheduled to stamp its approval on the deal on Monday.

While the settlement specifies several management comings and goings, it does not involve the regulator in the company's decision-making, as some of the company's supporters had feared.

Chief Legal Officer Marc Manly will give way to a new top lawyer by the end of the year. Lloyd Yates, who moved from Progress Energy, will take over as executive vice president responsible for its regulated state power subsidiaries. Former Progress Energy General Counsel John McArthur, who resigned after the takeover, will get a two-year position advising on regulatory and legislative matters in North Carolina.

Duke Energy agreed to stock the committee searching for Rogers' successor with a balanced number of former Duke and former Progress board members, plus a new outside board member. The committee also will search for two new board members to replace former Progress directors who resigned in protest this summer.

A new board committee will meet with the utilities commission to hear what they think about the board's activities.

Duke Energy promised to pass along to North Carolina customers rather than shareholders an extra $25 million in merger-related savings, spend another $5 million on workforce development and low-income assistance, and promise to keep at least 1,000 employees in Raleigh for at least 5 years.

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.

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Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio



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