Is Lynn Good the smartest (new) CEO in the energy industry?


On the first Sunday in February, Lynn Good was just sitting down to watch the Super Bowl in her family room when she received the email that would upend her world. A drainage pipe under an earthen storage pond at a defunct coal plant in North Carolina’s border with Virginia had ruptured, sending thousands of tons of toxic coal ash into the scenic Dan River. By the next day, the Dan River spill was battling for attention with the Seahawks’ win on local and national news, as millions watched video of gray sludge spewing into an artery that furnishes drinking water for towns in Virginia. Until that day, Good, the newly named CEO of Duke Energy, had been working methodically to ensure the company remained stable, profitable and boringly free of surprises. “Suddenly, it was all about crisis management,” she says. “It’s something that never should have happened. That’s not…

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