Duke Energy CEO and founder John Barcham has been named CEO of the nation’s largest utility, Duke Energy, by the company’s board.
Barcham, 51, is Duke’s second-highest-ranking executive.
He previously served as CEO of Exelon, a major U.S. energy company that went bankrupt in the 2008 financial crisis.
Barracam is the first former CEO of an American utility to head a major American company.
Before that, a coal company executive in 1996 became the CEO of Southern Company, a power utility that was the largest publicly traded coal company in the U.K.
Barcam has made the rounds on Capitol Hill, speaking at Republican and Democratic policy lunches, and at town halls, according to his biography on the Duke Energy website.
Barry Ritz, Duke’s general counsel, called Barchams appointment “a significant achievement for the leadership team of Duke.”
“We look forward to working closely with John to make sure Duke has the best leadership available for the company, the state and the world,” Ritz said.
“John will have a great deal of experience in leadership and management, having served in the energy industry for nearly 20 years.
His background in public service is highly relevant to the company and to our customers.
He is an excellent choice to lead the company as it moves forward.”
Barchams hiring comes a week after President Donald Trump made headlines when he announced he was replacing former CEO Joe Gargano.
Trump said the job would be his “last day.”
Barrachas resignation comes just a day after Duke announced it would be shutting down two of its two nuclear plants, one in North Carolina and the other in West Virginia, after it discovered that the water at the reactors had a high level of lead.
The company said it was investigating the problem.
Barsky said the two nuclear facilities will be shut down as soon as Duke makes the final decision.
He said the company plans to work with local governments to ensure that people with disabilities are provided care and are provided access to necessary services.