William D. Johnson (CEO)

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William D. Johnson
William Dean Johnson 001 cropped.jpg
Born William Dean Johnson
(1954-01-09) January 9, 1954 (age 63)
Alma mater Duke University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Known for President and CEO of TVA; Chairman and CEO of Progress Energy

William "Bill" Dean Johnson (born January 9, 1954) is the President and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority and successor to Tom Kilgore.[1][2] In his position, he is the highest paid employee in the United States federal government.[3]

Early life[edit]

Bill Johnson was born on January 9, 1954. He attended Pennsylvania State University, where he played football as an offensive lineman, but did not earn a degree.[4][5] He later graduated from Duke University summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history. He also obtained a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982.[6]


After graduating, he served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He later worked as a partner in the Raleigh, North Carolina office of Hunton & Williams.[7]

He joined Progress Energy precursor, Carolina Power & Light in 1995. He became President of Progress Energy in 2005, and Chairman and CEO in 2007.[8] He remained the Chairman, President, and CEO of Progress Energy until the company was bought by Duke Energy in 2012.[9][10]

Per the merger agreement between Progress and Duke, he was slated to become CEO of the new combined company. Within an hour after the merger closed, he was removed as CEO by the new board, the majority of whom were legacy Duke Energy board members.[11] The Los Angeles Times estimates Johnson walked away with $44 million as severance.[12]


  1. ^ "Twitter / TVA_Newsroom: Johnson will begin as CEO on". Twitter.com. 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  2. ^ Murawski, John (2012-11-05). "Ousted Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson will lead the TVA". CharlotteObserver.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  3. ^ http://reason.org/news/show/tva-compensation-divestiture
  4. ^ "Progress Energy Names New CEO, Chairman". WRAL.com. 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  5. ^ "Bill Johnson: leading an energy powerhouse - Charlotte Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  6. ^ Executive Management: William (Bill) D. Johnson, Progress Energy, accessed January 2011.
  7. ^ "William Johnson - Forbes". People.forbes.com. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  8. ^ "List of Public Companies Worldwide, Letter - Businessweek - Businessweek". Investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  9. ^ "Progress Energy Board of Directors names Johnson Chairman and CEO", Media Release, October 12, 2007.
  10. ^ Erman, Michael. "Progress CEO quits, Duke chief to run combined company". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  11. ^ Flory, Josh. "New CEO Bill Johnson takes rocky path to TVA job » Knoxville News Sentinel". Knoxnews.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  12. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (2012-07-06). "CEO-for-a-day parachutes out of Duke Energy with $44 million". latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.