* Rogers steps down as chief executive July 1
* Good says will work to build on merger momentum
* Duke shares edge up on NYSE
By Eileen O'Grady and Anna Driver
June 18 Duke Energy Corp has turned to
an insider, Chief Financial Officer Lynn Good, to take over as
chief executive when Jim Rogers steps down as part of a
regulatory settlement linked to its $18 billion takeover of
Good, 54, a veteran of the U.S. utility industry who is well
known on Wall Street, was viewed by analysts as a leading
contender for the job. Having served as CFO since July 2009, she
is considered a strong manager with the experience to lead the
large, complex company like Duke, the No.1 U.S. power producer.
"She's highly competent; she knows the ropes so there won't
be a learning curve," Paul Patterson, an analyst at Glenrock
Associates in New York, said on Tuesday after Duke's
Duke serves about 7.2 million electricity customers in six
states in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest.
Rogers, 65, had been expected to step down as CEO when
Duke's $18 billion takeover of Progress Energy closed last July,
with Progress CEO William Johnson set to take the top job at the
combined company. But Johnson was ousted by Duke's board of
directors just hours after the deal closed.
Johnson's removal triggered anger in North Carolina, the
merged company's largest market. Regulators, after reviewing the
takeover proposal for months, felt slighted when Rogers
unexpectedly took control. Subsequent hearings into the matter
resulted in a settlement formalizing Rogers' exit.
Rogers will step down as CEO on July 1. He will continue as
Duke chairman until his planned retirement Dec. 31. The board
will name one of its independent directors to assume the
responsibilities of chairman as of Jan. 1.
Unlike Rogers, who exhibited a high-profile among utility
executives, Good said she will be "more internally focused,"
working to build momentum at the merged company and engaging
with regulators and stakeholders in various states in which Duke
"North Carolina is our largest jurisdiction and maintaining
very positive relationships and working constructively with that
commission will always be a priority," Good said.
Andrew Bischof, a utility company analyst at Morningstar in
Chicago, said an external candidate would have better been able
to repair Duke's relationship with North Carolina regulators.
Even so, Good's experience leaves her "well positioned to
continue on the integration of Progress Energy," he said.
The company still faces a difficult regulatory climate in
North Carolina, where it is working to raise customer rates, and
in Florida, where it plans to decommission the crippled Crystal
River nuclear plant.
Good joined Cinergy, a Duke Energy predecessor company, in
2003 after 20 years in senior management roles and as a partner
for Deloitte & Touche and Arthur Andersen.
Under a new three-year employment contract, Good will earn a
base salary of $1.2 million, with additional bonus targets that
could increase her compensation to about $8.1 million a year,
according to a regulatory filing.
Shares of Duke closed at $68.23, up 58 cents in New York
Stock Exchange trading.