The CEOs of Duke Energy and Progress Energy wouldn't comment on how many jobs might be eliminated as the companies merge, but said that they don't expect many forced layoffs, staff writer John Murawski reports.
"We're going to rely on attrition, retirements to take care of most of this," said Progress CEO Bill Johnson, who will be chief executive of the combined company.
Johnson and Duke CEO Jim Rogers, who will become chairman of the new company, said on a conference call that they won't have details on cost-cutting goals for some time. They expect to win shareholder and regulatory approvals for the deal by later this year.
Relying on attrition to trim the companies' combined workforce would limit the role of layoffs but not completely eliminate that possibility.
"We always have the option to do a voluntary buyout program at the appropriate point," Rogers said.
Duke employs about 18,500 people and Progress employs 11,000. Analysts expect the companies will need to squeeze cost savings out of the merger to make it pay off.
Since the combined company will be based in Charlotte, Progress' operations in Raleigh are expected to take a hit. The companies did note in their announcement this morning that they expect to "maintain substantial operations in Raleigh."