FERC leader says utilities have the right to switch CEOs

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said a utililty’s board can decide who will be the chief executive officer without specifically mentioning the ongoing investigation into Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Duke replaced former Progress CEO Bill Johnson when its merger with Duke closed on July 2. He was replaced with Duke CEO Jim Rogers, which sparked investigations by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. FERC approved the merger on June 8.

Wellinghoff made the comments during a Platts Energy Podium in Washington. He said in the article that he could not comment on the case, but did say a company’s Board of Directors have the right to decide who will run the company.

“I believe that a board of directors of a utility has the right to decide whoever they want to run the utility,” Wellinghoff was quoted as saying. “Once the board of directors does that, regardless of their timing, I think everybody needs to move on.”

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