"They wanted the merger, then they didn't want it, then they couldn't get out of it, then they didn't want to be stuck with me as the person who dragged them to it," he said.
Duke CEO Rogers testified that directors told him they wanted him back in charge because they disliked Johnson's leadership style, his handling of problems with Progress Energy's closed Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida and the company's financial performance.
Johnson's annual compensation at TVA consists of a $950,000 salary and potential additional compensation of up to $3 million that is tied to performance objectives and retention, according to a news release on Johnson's selection.
The Tennessee Valley Authority provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.