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Piedmont Natural Gas CEO to receive $14.4 million in severance when Duke deal closes

Tom Skains, CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas.
Tom Skains, CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Tom Skains, chief executive officer of Piedmont Natural Gas, will receive nearly $14.4 million in severance pay when Duke Energy completes its purchase of the Charlotte-based gas company.

The $4.9 billion acquisition, announced in late October, is expected to close in late 2016. Both Piedmont and Duke have said Skains’ decision to retire was his own.

Skains’ severance package includes over $5 million in cash, $8.6 million of equity and a bonus of $749,297, according to a securities filing this week.

Also in the filing, Piedmont said it will hold a special meeting in which shareholders will vote on the Duke merger. The meeting will be 8:30 a.m. Jan. 22 at Piedmont’s SouthPark headquarters, 4720 Piedmont Row Drive. At the meeting, shareholders will also vote on Skains’ compensation proposal.

Piedmont has said following the deal, it will keep its name as a Duke subsidiary and its headquarters in Charlotte.

Earlier this month, Duke Energy’s board named CEO Lynn Good to the role of chairman, combining the company’s two top roles. Duke has named Skains to join its board of directors when the deal closes.

Skains is the only Piedmont executive who has announced plans to leave the company when the deal closes, making him the only one at this time eligible for the severance benefits.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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