10 Things You Didn’t Know about Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good

Lynn Good is the CEO, the President, and the Chairman of the Board for Duke Energy, which is an electric power holding company that focuses on the United States but has holdings in other countries as well. Currently, Good might be best-known to a lot of people for being one of the most highly-compensated women executives in the United States. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Lynn Good:

1. Grew Up in Fairfield, OH

Good grew up in a place called Fairfield, which is now counted as one of the suburbs of Cincinnati. It is interesting to note that Fairfield is home to the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, which has produced more than one Olympic-level gymnast over the course of its existence.

2. Her Parents Were Educators

Both Good’s father and Good’s mother were educators. To be exact, her father was a teacher who went on to become a high school principal, while her mother was a teacher as well. Both of them told Good that there was no need for her to take up a traditional role, meaning that she was free to follow a path of her own choosing.

3. Went Into Accounting

Good studied accounting at university, so it should come as no surprise to learn that she went on to work at Arthur Andersen & Co., which was counted as one of the Big Five until its reputation was gutted by the Enron scandal in the early 2000s. Regardless, Good broke barriers by playing an important role in auditing, which eventually led to her taking charge of one of Arthur Andersen’s most important accounts.

4. Came to Duke Energy Via Cinergy Corp.

Following the fall of Arthur Andersen, Good managed to make a smooth transition to a senior leadership position at Cinergy Corp. As a result, when Cinergy Corp. performed a merger with Duke Energy, she winded up becoming the treasurer as well as the senior vice president of the resulting corporation.

5. Took an Interest in Renewable Sources of Power

At Duke Energy, Good took an interest in renewable sources of power. In particular, she focused on both solar power and wind power, which is perhaps unsurprising when those are the two most convenient renewable sources of power for most locations.

6. Took an Interest in Carbon-Capture Tech

On a related note, Good has taken an interest in carbon-capture tech as well, which would be technologies that can be used to capture CO2 emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels for long-term storage in a less problematic form. Unfortunately, she has stated that while such tech would be very useful, not least because it could help keep fossil fuels viable for a while longer, it isn’t ready for practical use for the time being.

7. Became CEO Because of Merger

In 2011, Duke Energy struck a deal for a merger with Progress Energy. The terms of the merger meant that the Progress Energy CEO was supposed to replace the Duke Energy CEO in 2012, but when the time came, the Board of Directors fired the Progress Energy CEO before rehiring the Duke Energy CEO. As a result, the Board of Directors eventually struck a deal with the North Carolina authorities to choose a new CEO in 2013, thus resulting in Good’s rise to her current position.

8. Learned to Slow Down

Good has stated that in earlier times, her focus made her seem impatient to other people. Over time, she has learned to slow down, thus providing herself with a chance to learn more about the people with whom she works.

9. Doesn’t See Expertise As the Single Most Important Characteristic for Senior Leaders

It is interesting to note that Good doesn’t see expertise in a single subject matter to be the single most important characteristic for people in senior leadership positions at corporations. Instead, she believes that to be the ability to manage a diverse group of people, which makes sense because senior leaders are meant to, well, lead rather than do everything on their own.

10. Isn’t Defined By Her Career

The fall of Arthur Andersen has taught Good that she isn’t defined by her career. For her, this is liberating because it means that she can always just change her career if something bad happens to the corporation that she works for, which is an admirable bit of flexibility on her part.


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