Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance

Grist  When Duke Energy announced its merger with Progress Energy last year, the two companies agreed that Progress CEO Bill Johnson would assume the same position at the combined company. So he did: On June 27, Johnson signed a three-year contract to helm Duke. When the merger went into effect on July 2, he assumed the position of CEO.

And then, on July 3 at midnight, Johnson resigned. The Wall Street Journal:

Outsiders considered the turn of events highly unusual. New chief executives almost never quit days after accepting an employment contract, three executive-compensation consultants said.

It “is very odd” for a CEO to exit days after taking command, said David Schmidt, a consultant at James F. Reda & Associates, a compensation consulting firm in New York that wasn’t involved with either company. “I have never seen that before.”

But let us not weep for our once and not-future king. Bill Johnson’s golden parachute was not affected by his short flight.

Despite his short-lived tenure, Mr. Johnson will receive exit payments worth as much as $44.4 million, according to Duke. That includes $7.4 million in severance, a nearly $1.4 million cash bonus, a special lump-sum payment worth up to $1.5 million and accelerated vesting of his stock awards, according to a Duke regulatory filing Tuesday night. Mr. Johnson gets the lump-sum payment as long as he cooperates with Duke and doesn’t disparage his former employer, the filing said.

Under his exit package, Mr. Johnson also will receive approximately $30,000 to reimburse him for relocation expenses.


So assuming that he worked for a full eight hours on Monday, that comes out to a nice $5.5 million an hour — some 765,000 times the national minimum wage. His relocation alone is over half the average annual salary for an American worker. Hopefully he didn’t move too near any of his former colleagues. How embarrassing to run into them at the country club, what with Johnson being unemployed and all!

Johnson’s replacement is former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, just starting his fourth day on the job. He’s probably walking around the office, bragging about his longevity.

Farewell, Bill Johnson. You had a great run.

Update: As many have noted, the “resignation” seems an awful lot like a “firing.” It is obviously the latter; technically the former. The corporate world never ceases to amaze.

13 thoughts on “Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance

    1. More importantly N.C.’s governor agreed to reimbursement the combined company’s merger costs by allowing rate increases. So enjoy it Carolinian’s you just paid his severance package. Must be nice to get multimillion dollar hand outs from taxpayers, too bad taxpayers never see these kinds of deals for themselves and now we will all have to pay for one man’s greed.

    2. Hope y’all realize that I was being sarcastic. 🙂
      I may have lost everything, but at least I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning.

    3. Yea AngelNYC, i gues that I had the wrong idea myself. 44.4 mil. in one day,that gives new meaning to SHOCK AND AWE. Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk. I bet he all of a sudden has found new relatives! LOL.

  1. Time for Christians to vote their next president according to their conscience.

    No muslim, no mormon, we want Christian values. It is what made America great, it is what is missing.

    We want Ron Paul.

    Who do we want???

    Speak the truth, tell your friends, tell your church, tell your family, tell the blogs, tell the world.

    1. I’m not even Christian and still I can see the benefit in morality being applied to monetary policy.

      1. I’m definitely not christian but I can see the benefits in morality being applied in many more places than just finance.

  2. Wow. The folks of North Carolina need to be in the streets over this. North Carolina ranks last in a lot of things and now I see why. The rich people are sucking away all the taxpayer money that could have been used for better things. If the governor is in on this you can bet taxpayer money went into a lot of corporate pockets. It’s going to be very cold and windy come Winter. I can see a lot of cold, homeless people dying in the streets. But Bill Johnson? He’ll be fine.

  3. We’ll never see a truly Christian president in this country. The Zionst ‘Jew’ scumbags would never allow it. If, by some miracle it were to happen, he’d never live long enough to be sworn in. They’d nail him with the poison dart gun (apparent heart attack), just as they did to Matt Simmons (BP whistleblower), and that would be the end of it.

  4. Next time your heat gets turned off because you could not find work to pay bills, think of this guy.

  5. “Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance”

    Hey, can I apply for that job and then resign in two weeks after being hired, so I can get my 44 million, too?

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