Protest $44 Million CEO Payoff for Twenty Minutes of Employment

Target: North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper

Goal: To properly investigate a $44 million payoff given to a man in charge of a company for 20 minutes

Bill Johnson has obtained perhaps the most outrageous payment in the history of employment: after being placed in charge of a $26 billion coalition between Duke Energy and Prospect Energy, Johnson was in control of the company for a full twenty minutes before quitting and receiving $44 million dollars for his troubles. This staggering amount of money includes a $1.4 million dollar cash “bonus” for his work and is to be administered due to a clause in Johnson’s contract that stated he was entitled to it.

The Attorney General of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, is looking into the contract and requesting that both energy companies hand in accurate minutes of all board meetings that have taken place. Cooper is undoubtedly hoping to find the person who ultimately decided a $44 million dollar payoff was acceptable after twenty minutes of employment, but he may not find one, for this is not the first time Johnson has been involved in questionable business ethics. During his “career,” Johnson has been on the receiving end of several CEO compensation bonuses. While these bonuses were investigated, Johnson has not yet been accused of any wrongdoing.

According to, “[The] average CEO pay is now 380 times the pay of the average worker, and CEO pay has grown 127 times faster than worker pay over the last 30 years.” Johnson’s ridiculous payoffs – especially this $44 million dollar paycheck – must be stopped. Sign the petition now to urge North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to oversee the refining of CEO contracts so that these kinds of paydays do not happen again in the future, and ask that he put his best effort into investigating Bill Johnson’s latest contract.


Dear Mr. Attorney General Roy Cooper,

I write in regard to Bill Johnson, the CEO who was in charge of a coalition between Duke Energy and Prospect Energy for a grand total of twenty minutes before he was awarded a $44 million dollar payoff. I am astounded that something so disgraceful is legal, and I want to know why this happenstance was allowed to occur. Only glitches in Johnson’s contract or, more likely, an exchange of money between hands, could have allowed this payoff to happen, and I urge you to make sure such ridiculous payoffs do not happen again.

The average CEO is now paid 380 times the wages of the average worker. CEO pay itself has increased 127 times faster than worker pay has over the past 30 years. This is unacceptable, and allowing men like Bill Johnson to receive millions of dollars for virtually doing nothing is only strengthening the barrier between the upper and working classes. Therefore, I am asking you to also do everything in your power to investigate this outrageous payoff. There is no justice in allowing a man to receive $44 million dollars for twenty minutes of “work” when there are hardworking people in this country who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Truly outrageous, and to think that most workers have to put in their entire lives to earn so little.

  2. Dana Ridgley says:

    The investigation has to start with the directors who set this up. There has to be something there. It smells like bribery. It should be recognized that it is the customers of these companies that pay these bribes in the end and they have a right to be protected from this.

  3. Warren Osborn says:

    Hang him!!!

  4. Ilil Arbel says:

    He should be made an example, but I am afraid it happens only too often. There is no reason why we allow CEO’s to obtain a salary 380 times that of the average employee. It used to be 10 times only a few decades ago. Are we a nation of sheep?

  5. Put ME in charge of Duke Energy for 20 minutes; I’ll have at least SOMETHING to contribute to the company’s future, and I’ll do it for 1/44th of the price of that knucklehead. I’ll even pay my own airfare or car rental to get to N.C.

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