DNC’s Lead Fundraiser Forced Out of Duke Energy

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November 30, 2012

Duke Energy Corp., the nation’s largest electric utility company, is forcing out CEO Jim Rogers as part of a settlement agreement with North Carolina’s state utilities commission. The settlement is the result of a four-month investigation into the ouster of Bill Johnson, the CEO that Rogers replaced.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Rogers has agreed to retire by the end of 2013, though the settlement document said the board hoped to name his successor by summer.

Duke's 11-member board agreed to add two new directors in the next year and to create a special board committee to lead the search for a new CEO.

The state utilities commission spent more than four months looking into the ouster of Bill Johnson, who was forced out as Duke's CEO and replaced by Mr. Rogers just hours after Duke completed its $26 billion acquisition of Progress Energy Inc., a utility Mr. Johnson had headed.

The settlement will bring a muted end to Mr. Rogers's swashbuckling career at Duke, one of the nation's largest electric utilities. Mr. Rogers has been a utility executive for two decades, leading several other mergers, including the one that brought him to Duke in 2006.

Rogers has become increasingly involved with the Democratic Party. Since 2008, Rogers and his wife have contributed $210,000 to Democrat candidates and committees. Rogers was named cochairman and lead fundraiser for the Democratic National Convention host committee and he offered to open a $10 million credit line to help finance this year’s convention.

Duke Energy has received millions in federal grants and Rogers has even been mentioned as a possible Energy Secretary in Obama’s second term.

Retiring Democrat Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C) will be joining Duke Energy in January. The former Washington Redskins quarterback will be Duke’s senior vice president of federal affairs.