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Progress CEO Johnson May Get as Much as $44.7 Million After Exit

Progress Energy Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson, who unexpectedly resigned after Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) completed its takeover of the company, may collect as much as $44.7 million after his exit.

The total includes $12.7 million for pension benefits and deferred compensation, $14.3 million for vested stock awards, a possible $7.4 million payment for taxes and as much as $10.3 million for severance, bonus and lump sum payments, according to regulatory filings and Tom Williams, a spokesman for Duke Energy.

Johnson, who the companies had said would take over as CEO, will get as much as $10.3 million in severance, bonus and non- disparagement payments, according to a July 3 filing by Duke Energy with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Johnson, 58, was already or eventually entitled to some of the total compensation, Williams said. Johnson will get $12.7 million for his accrued and unpaid benefits under Progress Energy’s retirement and deferred compensation plans, the amounts of which were disclosed in a Progress proxy filing with the SEC on June 29.

Johnson, who has been the chairman and CEO of Raleigh, North Carolina-based Progress since 2007, will receive as much as $14.3 million in accelerated vesting of his restricted and performance stock awards, according to regulatory filings.

Johnson may be eligible for a $7.4 million payment for excise and gross-up taxes although that has yet to be determined, said Williams.

On July 3, Duke said James Rogers will continue as chairman and chief executive officer of the combined companies. Rogers, 64, had agreed to become executive chairman when the deal was announced 18 months ago.

The plan for Johnson to take over as president and CEO was scrapped under a “mutual agreement” between Johnson and Duke, according to a statement by Duke, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The deal created the largest U.S. utility owner.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net.

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