Jim Rogers, the CEO Who Wouldn't Leave

To create the country’s largest electric utility, Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers offered to give up the CEO’s chair. And he did—for about two hours
Photograph by Thomas Prior for Bloomberg Businessweek

Jim Rogers is sitting in his sleek, modern office on the 48th floor of the Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, explaining how, after a rancorous merger capped off by an 11th-hour management coup, he remains chief executive officer of the largest electric utility in the U.S. He wonders aloud whether to enliven the account with a metaphor about soured romance. His public-relations man, Tom Williams, vetoes the idea. Rogers ignores him. “When you negotiate a deal,” he says, “it’s like dating, OK? When you go through the integration and planning process, it’s like living together. You’re not quite married, but you’re living together, and you’re learning a hell of a lot about each other.”

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