Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will step down as head of the nation's largest electric utility by the end of 2013 as part of a settlement with North Carolina regulators that ends an investigation into the company's takeover of in-state rival Progress Energy.
Duke and the North Carolina Utilities Commission said Thursday the deal concludes the probe into whether the company misled the regulator ahead of approving the merger. The commission had the power to reverse its approval.
Hours after the merger was completed July 2, Duke's board ousted Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, who was slated to lead the combined company. It had promised to keep him in place throughout the 18-month process of combining the two companies.
The state regulator and the attorney general launched investigations that demanded several internal Duke documents and communications. The commission hired a former federal prosecutor to probe whether Duke Energy executives and board members were telling regulators that Johnson would head the combined company while secretly arranging to dump him. The commission is scheduled to stamp its approval of the settlement on Monday.