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Former Duke Energy chairman, CEO dies at 71

Former Duke Energy Corp. Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers died Dec. 17 in Louisville, Ky. He was 71.

Rogers joined Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered Duke when the company acquired Cincinnati, Ohio-headquartered utility Cinergy Corp. in 2006, at the time creating the largest utility in the U.S. Rogers had been Cinergy's chairman and CEO for 11 years, Duke Energy said in a Dec. 18 press release announcing his death.

"Our industry has lost one of its most influential and extraordinary leaders," Duke Energy Chairman, President and CEO Lynn Good said. "I was fortunate to work alongside Jim and see his dynamic leadership skill up close. He was not afraid to tackle the hard questions with a personable style that brought people together for positive solutions. We will miss Jim, but we will also long remember his accomplishments and his mission to light the world."

Rogers was going to step up to the role of chairman at Duke in 2012 after completing the acquisition of fellow Carolina utility Progress Energy, but at the last moment, the combined company's newly designated president and CEO, Bill Johnson, was asked to resign. Rogers then retired from Duke Energy a year later, in 2013. He was seen as instrumental in steering Duke Energy toward renewable energy investments.