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Is Duke’s New CEO Good for Duke Energy Corp (DUK) Stock?

Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) is switching up its corporate leadership for the first time in nearly a decade. As Jim Rogers eases out, he takes with him an inordinate amount of institutional knowledge… but also a significant amount of bad blood. With a new sheriff in town, let’s see if this utility’s corporate shuffle is enough to boost Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) stock.

Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK)

From CFO to CEO
Jim Rogers is relinquishing his corporate kingdom to Lynn Good, the company’s current CFO of four years. Effective July 1, Good will assume the roles of president and CEO, while Jim Rogers will remain as chairman of the board through the end of 2012.

Source: Duke Energy

“The selection committee considered several exceptional internal and external candidates and determined that Lynn’s leadership abilities and strategic vision for Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK)’s continued growth make her the ideal choice,” said Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) lead director Ann Maynard Gray in a statement today.

But to understand Duke’s decision, we also have to rewind the tenure of Jim Rogers, one of the most controversial CEOs of our time. Duke’s merger with Progress Energy in July 2012 made it the largest U.S. utility in terms of assets, but the dreamy transition turned into a corporate nightmare overnight. Progress CEO Bill Johnson was supposed to take over as CEO of the newly merged company, but he resigned the day after the merger was completed, taking more than $44 million in exit payments and putting Rogers back in his previous position.

CEO salary is always a hot topic, but in this case, Jim Rogers’ compensation alone wasn’t the biggest issue. Here’s how his 2011 pay stacked up against a few competitors:

CEO Company 2011 Compensation ($M) % of 2011 Sales % of 2011 Net Income
Barry Welch Atlantic Power (NYSE:AT) 1.92 2.04% (negative)
Chris Cane Exelon (NYSE:EXC) 5.56 0.03% 0.22%
Jim Rogers Duke Energy 8.78 0.06% 0.51%
Kevin Burke Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) 10.97 0.09% 1.03%
Anthony Alexander FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) 18.33 0.11% 2.07%

Source:, Yahoo! Finance

Rogers’ salary fell somewhere in the middle of his competitors, but unlike all the other utilities mentioned above, there may be a hidden costs to Rogers’ continued corporate ties. Of all the stakeholders affected by the last-minute-merger madness, the North Carolina regulatory commission took the turn of events especially hard. Only after an 18-month approval process, two state investigations, and an agreement that Rogers would step down by 2014, did the North Carolina Utilities Commission cut the corporation some slack.

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