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Duke Energy board names Lynn Good chairman; Skains named to board

Piedmont Natural Gas chairman and CEO Thomas Skains, left, and Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, right, on Monday, October 26, 2015. Duke Energy will buy Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2016.
Piedmont Natural Gas chairman and CEO Thomas Skains, left, and Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, right, on Monday, October 26, 2015. Duke Energy will buy Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2016. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Duke Energy said Thursday that its board of directors has named CEO Lynn Good to the role of chairman, combining the company’s two top roles.

Piedmont Natural Gas CEO Tom Skains will join Duke’s board once Duke completes its $4.9 billion Piedmont acquisition next year, the company also said.

Good will replace Ann Maynard Gray as chairman. Gray will remain on the board, which she has been on since 2004.

“Lynn is a strong leader with a strategic vision for our company,” said Gray, in a statement. “The board unanimously supports Lynn as chairman and believes this governance structure best serves the company and our shareholders as we navigate an era of remarkable change.”

Duke said about two-thirds of the 19 companies on the New York Stock Exchange’s Utility index have their chairman and CEO roles combined.

Skains has said he will retire from Piedmont once the company’s acquisition is complete. He will stay involved with the combined company on the board.

“I’m delighted at the prospect of joining the board of a company that is so vital to the people and the communities we serve,” said Skains, in a statement.

Duke also said Michael Browning, chairman of development and construction firm Browning Consolidated LLC in Indianapolis, has been elected lead independent board member.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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