New Progress Energy Chairman Named

William D. Johnson will take over as chairman, president and chief executive of Progress Energy. The Raleigh-based electric utility named Johnson to the post to replace Robert McGehee, who died suddenly this week while on a business trip in London.

The 53-year-old Johnson was the unanimous pick. Johnson has been chief operating officer of the utility. The company's board says that position won't be filled.

Progress operates utilities in the Carolinas and Florida, serving more than three million customers.

Johnson was a partner specializing in representing electric utility for a Raleigh law firm before joining Progress Energy in