ATLANTA, Jan. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Board of Directors of Southern Company today announced that, effective March 31, Chris Womack has been appointed president of Southern Company and elected as a member of the Board of Directors of Southern Company.
Womack also has been appointed CEO of Southern Company effective immediately following the conclusion of Southern Company’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
Effective as of March 31, the Board of Directors of Southern Company also increased the size of the Board of Directors of Southern Company from 13 to 14 in connection with the election of Womack to the Board.
Thomas A. Fanning, 65, the current chairman of the Board, CEO and president of Southern Company, will relinquish the role of president upon Womack’s assumption of the role in March and assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors upon Womack’s assumption of the role of CEO.
“Tom has guided Southern Company through a period of significant change. Under his oversight, Southern Company has delivered substantial value to stockholders and increased the dividend annually, while safeguarding the interests of employees, the communities in which the system operates and the entire spectrum of the company’s stakeholders. We are grateful for Tom’s innumerable contributions to the company and industry over more than 42 years of service, and we look forward to the next chapter in Southern Company’s history,” said David J. Grain, Southern Company’s lead independent director.
Womack, 64, has served as president of Georgia Power since 2020 and chairman, president and CEO since 2021.
Prior to his current roles, he served as executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company.
A native of Greenville, Womack joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held several leadership positions within Southern Company and its subsidiaries.
He has served as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation.
Womack also served as senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer at Southern Company, as well as senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power.
Prior to joining Southern Company, Womack worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
He served as a legislative aide for former Congressman Leon E. Panetta and as staff director for the Subcommittee on Personnel and Police for the Committee on House Administration.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree from The American University. He completed the Stanford Executive Program in 2001.
“The Board has been actively engaged in succession planning for the past several years, and after consideration of a number of candidates, we unanimously selected Chris as our new Chief Executive Officer and president. Chris’ proven leadership, alignment with our values and ability to deliver strong results makes him a terrific choice to lead Southern Company,” Grain said.
“Chris’ leadership, vision and integrity during his career with Southern Company have uniquely prepared him to guide Southern Company into a new era,” said Fanning.
“With our recent progress at Plant Vogtle and continued conversion of our operations towards net zero emissions, I believe that now is an ideal time to transition to new leadership. I have confidence that Chris will continue our progress and deliver on Southern Company’s commitment to providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy and customized solutions to customers across the United States. I look forward to working closely with Chris over the next five months as he assumes this new role and to focusing on an effective transition in my new position as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.”
“It is an important time in our industry as the energy landscape continues to rapidly evolve and customers’ needs continue to change, and Southern Company is at the forefront of that evolution,” Womack added. “We’re building the future of energy, and I’m excited to continue playing a role in this new capacity. It is an honor to lead teams working in states across the country that are wholeheartedly dedicated to innovating and delivering both world class customer service and reliability to our customers. We’ve got a lot of important work ahead of us.”