Personnel file - August 2008: Energy / Environment
CEO, Progress Energy Inc.
Why he switched careers: The firm I was with specialized in utilities, so I had spent a lot of time with utility folks. I was intrigued by the nature of the business. This was a business with a critical mission and a calling. And I really liked the people.
On his rise to CEO: Bob McGehee was a great leader, a great friend of the company and a close friend. You don’t replace Bob McGehee overnight. We did have a succession plan in place that normally would have been triggered with his retirement.
The industry’s biggest challenge: The overriding issue is how we deal with making electricity while reducing our carbon output. People and businesses will continue to move to the Southeast, so we have a challenge to meet that growing demand. At the same time, we’re facing record-high fuel prices. The experience people are having at the gas pump is the same experience we’re having buying fuel for the plants.