Duke promotes Lynn Good to president and CEO

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) finally has a new, permanent CEO following its July 2012 merger with Progress Energy, as the company announced June 18 that its board of directors has unanimously elected Lynn Good as its next president and CEO, succeeding Jim Rogers.

Rogers will continue to serve as chairman of the board until his retirement on Dec. 31. Good will also serve as a director on the Duke Energy board. She will assume her new role on July 1.

Good will not succeed Rogers as chairman, a Duke Energy spokesperson said. The board of directors will soon select a chair-designate from among its current members, the representative said.

Good, 54, has served as Duke Energy’s executive vice president and CFO since July 2009. She joined Cinergy, a Duke Energy predecessor company, in 2003 following 20 years working in senior management roles and as a partner for Deloitte & Touche and Arthur Andersen.

Prior to her tenure as Duke Energy’s CFO, Good served as group executive and president of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses organization. In this role, she was principally responsible for the Midwest non-regulated generation, Duke Energy International, Duke Energy Renewables, corporate development, and merger and acquisition activities.

“After a responsible and deliberate selection process by the board of directors, we are delighted that Lynn will become our next president and CEO,” said Duke Energy lead director Ann Maynard Gray, who led the board’s special committee to select the next CEO. “The selection committee considered several exceptional internal and external candidates and determined that Lynn’s leadership abilities and strategic vision for Duke Energy’s continued growth make her the ideal choice.”

Rogers to conclude Duke career Dec. 31

Good will succeed Rogers, who has served as Duke Energy’s president and CEO since 2006. In November 2012, Rogers, 65, announced that he will retire from the company by the end of 2013 after a 25-year career as a CEO in the utility industry. 

“I have worked closely with Lynn for 10 years, and know she cares deeply about this company, our employees, customers and shareholders,” Rogers said. “I applaud the board’s choice and am eager to work with Lynn on a seamless transition.”

Rogers has been one of the more visible power company CEOs, frequently quoted in the general press and appearing in various news media programs, including CBS television’s “60 Minutes.”

During a tumultuous 2012, Rogers received a base salary of more than $6.3m for his roles as chairman, president and CEO. His total compensation, including stock awards, option awards and other benefits, amounted to more than $8.7m in 2012, according to a 2013 proxy filed in March.

Good earned a base salary of roughly $617,000 for her work as executive VP and CFO in 2012, according to the same financial form. Her total compensation for 2012 amounted to more than $3m.

Under her new three-year CEO employment agreement, Good will receive an annual base salary of $1.2m, an annual short-term target bonus opportunity equal to 125% of her then current annual base salary and an annual long-term incentive plan target opportunity of 450% of her then current annual base salary, according to an 8-K filed June 18 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Good is required by Duke Energy to use its aircraft, whenever feasible, for her business travel. Good also is permitted to use Duke aircraft for her personal travel within North America; so long as she pays for the cost of personal travel.

Progress merger didn’t go according to script

Good’s promotion to the top day-to-day job came nearly a year after Duke merged with cross-state peer Progress Energy. The original plan called for then-Progress CEO William Johnson, who now heads the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to take over as president and CEO of the combined company, succeeding Rogers who would remain as chairman.

The combined Duke-Progress board, dominated by Duke incumbents, had evidently soured on Johnson by the time the merger was consummated in July 2012. That was due partly to management style and nuclear performance, according to public testimony later before the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).

So on July 3, right after the merger closed, the Duke board announced that Johnson was leaving the new Duke and Rogers was being brought back to again assume the role of president and CEO.

State investigations ensued. A settlement of the NCUC investigation was announced in November 2012. The settlement reaffirmed Rogers plan to fully retire from Duke by the end of 2013. The deal also addressed everything from the number of employees that must be kept in the former Progress headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., to stipulating that a new CEO would be picked with help from Progress officials and an outside consultant.

Good becomes member of small club

With her appointment, Good becomes member of a very small group – female CEOs of publicly-traded utility holding companies.

Others include PNM Resources (NYSE:PNM) Chairman, President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn and Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) Chairman and CEO Debra L. Reed.

Kimberly J. Harris is president and CEO of Washington-based Puget Sound Energy, a subsidiary of Puget Energy, which is now privately held.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.