RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Business experts who follow Duke Energy Corp. say the country's biggest electric company has months of problems ahead after ousting the Progress Energy CEO long-promised to take over the post-merger giant.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission was showered last week with criticism from electricity consumers angry that the regulator seemed too cozy with companies they're supposed to watchdog. Others are angry that the departure of former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson means he walks away with nearly $45 million in severance, pension, deferred compensation and stock.
The state regulator has wide powers, including changing its mind about approving the merger. Analysts say that's very unlikely, but the company could face a hard time getting future rate increases approved.