U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 13 mins

NiSource names director Thompson as chairman

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- NiSource Inc. on Friday named Richard Thompson as its new chairman, nearly a year after Chairman Ian Rolland announced plans to retire.

Thompson is up for election at the natural gas company's annual meeting in May.

Rolland has been on the board since 1978 and became chairman in 2006. He had said last May that he wanted to retire.

Thompson has been a member of the NiSource board since 2004. He retired as a Caterpillar Inc. executive the same year.

The Merrillville, Ind.-based company's shares added 9 cents to close at $30.63 and were unchanged in after-hours trading.