Chief executive appointment at Duke Energy investigated

The Duke Energy/ Progress Energy merger, announced last week, is the subject of an investigation after the chief executive originally chosen to head up the new entity, instead left by mutual consent.

New chief executive Jim Rogers testified before North Carolina’s energy utilities commission after it decided earlier this week to investigate why it had not been informed of the impending change of chief executive.

The merger made Duke into the US’s largest electricity generator by installed capacity and it had originally been agreed that Bill Johnson, Progress Energy’s chief executive, would assume the same role of the enlarged group, once the deal went through.

However, the merged company announced on the morning of July 3, hours after completion, that Mr Johnson had left “by mutual consent” and that Mr Rogers, who had been chief executive of Duke Energy, would instead take over, reports the Financial Times.

Concerns about Mr Johnson’s management style and ability to fuse the two company’s cultures had come to the fore.

The utilities commission started an investigation into the circumstances of Mr Johnson’s departure on July 6, saying it had been part of the two companies’ submissions when seeking merger approval that Mr Johnson would be chief executive.

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