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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Former board members of Progress Energy are upset the chief executive of their company, Bill Johnson, was ousted as head of Duke Energy just hours after the companies merged.

Former board member Alfred Tollison Jr. says he felt he was misled about the plans for Progress Energy’s chief to head the newly combined company.

Duke’s Jim Rogers is now CEO of the company. Duke announced the change Tuesday morning. The merger had been completed Monday afternoon.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission is now considering whether to investigate the change in leadership.

Standard & Poor’s Financial Services said Wednesday it has put Duke on a watch list for a potential credit downgrade because Johnson was removed.

Duke spokesman Tom Williams says the utility looks forward to resolving those concerns soon.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • Ken

    I don’t know the implications of this change in leadership after one day as like most of us, we are not privy to such information. Both companies agreeded on who would lead the combined companies and they did keep their word as the CEO did in fact lead the combined companies for one day before they made the change in leadership. I guess they consider the CEO serving for one day complied with the terms of the merger approved by Regulators. Just another example of “Big Business” doing as they please.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …you have to understand that Duke has every right to do it. Who leads the company is entirely a decision of the board of directors, and even the CEO serves as an employee of convenience. Obviously there were negotiated contracts that protected Johnson financially, but if the BoD wants him out he’s gone.

    In line with that, all agreements negotiated between Duke and the PUC and FERC are still binding upon Duke, so who runs the company is not their concern. Neither the FERC or PUC have anything to say about who serves as CEO.

    It will be interesting to see if the SEC shows any interest, or if the regular ambulance chasers file a class action suit. The simple fact is that the entire deal was put forth to shareholders based upon Johnson continuing as CEO. The SEC could legitimately raise the issue of a fraudulent solicitation….

    …but they won’t. It’s gone through and we live with it. I’m just waiting to see what their first announced dividend is. It SHOULD be close to where the Progress dividend was, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it will be lower.

  • Guest123

    20 minutes does not equal one day.

    Something smells; bad.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    I have questioned Duke’s motives in the past and mentioned the likelihood that Johnson was thrown out on yesterday’s board. (Which WWAY has failed to update, so I don’t know why I waste my time)

    The bottom line is that Duke simply wanted Progress as the golden cash-cow. Duke, once one of the most respected public utilities in the world, squandered their reputation and a ton of cash in the California energy debacle, and they’re hoping to buy their way back to prominence via Progress. Throughout this entire merger they have been less than forthright on everything from the changing stock buyout ratio to the secrecy about future dividends. (Trust me, it will be closer to Duke’s $25 than Progress’ $62.)

    I sold all but 100 shares of Duke this morning. I made a large amount of money thanks to Progress, but I trust Duke as far as I can throw a grand piano.

  • Guesttoo

    Hadn’t thought of this angle…Duke “buying” their lost respect back by merging with Progress Energy.

    At the very least, the board has some explaining to do. It certainly feels pretty greasy at this point.

  • Sam Guest

    Sorry to hear this. I have been in energy business for 30 years, Progress Folks just got “JR’ed” by Mr. Jim Rodgers, who is one of the worst. Best wishes to all…..


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