This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: July 13

2. Duke's Dumbness

That CEO coup down at Duke Energy (DUK - Get Report) sure did make our heads spin. Heck, even during the Arab Spring the dictators didn't get overthrown that quickly. Unfortunately, this week's deposition about Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson's unexpected dethroning only made us dizzier.

Duke's new CEO Jim Rogers told the North Carolina Utilities Commission Tuesday that he was shocked when the board informed him -- just minutes after the merger closed on July 2 mind you -- that they were dumping Johnson from the top job at the combined company and installing him instead. The regulatory board, which approves electricity rate increase requests, is investigating whether it was misled after approving the merger on June 29.

If the regulator believes it was a victim of a bait-and-switch scheme by the energy providers, it could put the kibosh on the deal. Rogers, however, denies that was the case, and told the panel that neither he nor Johnson had a clue about the board's trickery.

"Our board did not feel that his style was appropriate or transferrable to leadership of the combined company," said Rogers. "They felt his style was autocratic and discouraged different points of view."

Really? An 'autocratic' CEO? Wow, we never knew such a species existed! We thought all CEOs were warm, fuzzy and democratic in their decision making. Well if that's the case then we can totally understand the board's decision to ditch a tyrant like Johnson before he gained too much power over people's power bills.

Yeah right!

Not that we don't believe you Jim, but why don't we hear it from the meanie's own mouth? Oh, that's right, Johnson's not talking, preferring to let his lawyer do it for him.

"The fact that he is held in the highest regard by his peers in the utility industry and in the North Carolina business community speaks volumes about his leadership and business capabilities," said Johnson's attorney Wade Smith said in a statement.

We disagree Wade. What really speaks volumes is the $45 million in severance that Johnson is being paid to silently slink off.

Or, in other words, Duke's brass is doing exactly what a publicly overseen utility is not supposed to do: It's leaving its investors and customers totally in the dark.

4 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BPI $9.15 0.00%
DUK $76.16 0.00%
LVS $52.54 0.00%
WYNN $108.10 0.00%
AAPL $131.39 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,285.74 +0.34 0.00%
S&P 500 2,130.82 +4.97 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,090.7940 +19.0510 0.38%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs