Jeff Lyash opts to leave senior job as Duke Energy management shake-up continues
This posting was updated to clarify Jeff Lyash's position at Duke Energy and correct a reference to other departures in Duke management. Lyash is Duke’s executive vice president of energy supply. Other than Jeff Lyash's resignation, no other Duke executives are leaving the company. A settlement reached by Duke with North Carolina regulators last week ended an investigation of the Duke-Progress Energy merger. It dictated replacement of two Duke executives: chief legal officer Marc Manly and Keith Trent, executive vice president of regulated utilities. They are not leaving the company but were assigned other responsibilities and titles. Finally, Duke says Vinny Dolan, who succeeded Jeff Lyash as president of Progress Energy Florida, chose to retire from the company at the end of this year.
In happier and less chaotic days in St. Petersburg, Jeff Lyash ran Progress Energy Florida while pushing for more nuclear power in the state. Those days for Lyash are over but Florida's nuclear future remains vague. (Photo: Cherie Diez, Tampa Bay Times).
Wake up and good morning. The Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger is the seasonal gift that keeps on giving.
Jeff Lyash -- well known to the Tampa Bay area as the former head of Progress Energy Florida in St. Petersburg, a prominent past player in regional economic development and and the pro-nuclear executive who first unveiled plans to build a new nuclear plant in Levy County -- is stepping down from his North Carolina job as executive vice president of energy supply with the newly merged Duke Energy. Lyash departs at the end of this month. That clearly was not the career path he had in mind. Lyash received more than $2.3 milion in compensation last year.
No explanation of Lyash's departure was offered, though on the same day Duke shuffled the duties of some other senior executives (see this Charlotte Observer story) in order to appease North Carolina regulators irritated by the unorthodox handling by Duke of its merger with Progress Energy earlier this year.
Lyash was one of the few senior Progress Energy executives left standing after Duke Energy's board -- within hours -- canned former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson as the chief executive of the newly merged Duke-Progress company. As noted in this Charlotte Business Journal story, once Lyash leaves, four of the five ex-Progress execs slated to make up half of the new Duke 10-person executive team under its CEO will have left since the companies' July 2 merger.
Meanwhile, Lyash's successor as the head of Progress Energy Florida -- Vinny Dolan (photo, right) -- steps down, as already reported, at the end of this month. There was plenty of speculation that Dolan was squeezed out in part due to the Duke merger and the ongoing controversy in Florida over the broken Crystal River 3 nuclear power plant. Not so, Duke insists. Duke says Dolan decided to step down on his own. It is not clear what he intends to do at the age of 57.
The sole nuke plant of Duke-Progress in Florida, CR3 remains shuttered since the fall of 2009 and the company remains silent publicly over the decision to fix it (for more than $1 billion) or to close it permanently. (Photo: Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times.)
Alex Glenn has been named Dolan's successor as the head of Progress Energy Florida.
Is this the end of the senior staffing turmoil?
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times