Duke CEO Jim Rodgers to step down after 2013
Duke Energy has announced that CEO Jim Rodgers will step down at the end of 2013 as part of a settlement between the utility and North Carolina regulators. This comes at the end of a regulatory investigation launched after Rodgers abruptly resumed his position of Duke CEO after the utility merged with Progress Energy this past summer.
The move was a direct contradiction of the merger terms, which designated the CEO position be given to ex-Progress CEO Bill Johnson. Less than a day later, however, Johnson was out and Rodgers was in. The North Carolina Utilities Commission immediately launched an investigation, and many customers and regulators felt duped by the quick switch.
While the job transition is part of the NCUC settlement, Duke noted that Rodger's contract was previously scheduled to expire at the end of next year. Rodgers has served as CEO at various utilities since 1988, and has been Duke CEO since its 2006 merger with Cinergy.
"It has been an honor serving as CEO for the past 24 years and working in a dynamic industry that provides an essential service for our customers," Rogers said a Thursday announcement. "My continuing focus for the remainder of my tenure will be on positioning Duke Energy as a stronger, more efficient organization for many years to come, while continuing to fully realize the significant benefits of the merger for our customers and investors."
Duke has not yet named a successor, and the settlement requires the formation of a search committee to be balanced with both Duke and Progress employees and one unaffiliated member. The settlement also guarantees an additional $25 million in fuel and fuel-related cost savings and $5 million in workplace development for North Carolina customers.