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Progress Energy Florida President to Step Down

By: Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida
By: Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, Aug. 9, 2012 -

Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

Little more than a month after a mega-merger between Progress Energy and Duke Energy and the surprise ouster of his former boss, Progress Energy Florida President Vincent Dolan announced Wednesday that he will retire by the end of the year.

Dolan, 57, will be replaced by R. Alexander "Alex" Glenn, the Florida utility's general counsel who in recent years has played a prominent role in regulatory issues in Tallahassee. Progress Energy Florida, the state's second largest utility, was a subsidiary in the past of North Carolina-based Progress Energy and last month became part of Duke Energy.

A news release Wednesday about the changes did not detail Dolan's reasons for making the announcement. Dolan has worked for the utility and predecessor companies since 1986.

Keith Trent, Duke Energy's executive vice president for regulated utilities, said in the release that a transition period will "ensure the change is seamless for customers, employees and the communities we serve."

"Vinny has been an exemplary leader and a tireless advocate for Florida customers and for the company and its shareholders throughout his career,? Trent said in the release. ?Alex brings that same deep knowledge, proven leadership and commitment to work for the best possible balance of interests and perspectives of our company and customers."

The announcement, however, comes amid a turbulent time for Duke and Progress Energy Florida. After a lengthy process of getting regulatory approvals, the North Carolina-based Duke Energy and Progress Energy completed a merger in early July and created the largest utility in the country.

The merger agreement called for Progress Chairman and CEO Bill Johnson to become president and chief executive officer of the combined company, but the board of directors --- dominated by people who had been on the Duke board in the past --- asked for his resignation just hours after he took over the duties. Johnson was blindsided by the move, and the Duke board's actions have come under heavy scrutiny from North Carolina regulators.

Meanwhile, the Florida subsidiary is embroiled a long-running controversy about a botched repair job that has kept the Crystal River nuclear plant offline since 2009. The utility is grappling with whether to do costly repairs at the plant or to shut it down permanently.

The Florida Public Service Commission is scheduled to get an update Monday about the nuclear plant. Also, Jim Rogers, who became Duke CEO when Johnson was ousted, is expected to speak with the commission.


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