Southern Company names Hobson to new environmental leadership position

Southern Company announced today the appointment of Chris Hobson to the newly created position of senior vice president, environmental affairs. Hobson, 52, currently serves as vice president, environmental affairs, at Georgia Power, Southern Company’s largest subsidiary.

In his new role, Hobson will report to Charles Goodman, who has been named senior vice president, environmental policy and research. The management changes are effective immediately.

“At Southern Company we take pride in our deep bench strength, which includes thoughtful succession planning and developing our people to be prepared for leadership positions,” said Dwight Evans, Southern Company’s executive vice president, external affairs, who oversees the company’s environmental policy. “This move is designed to help accomplish that with Chris, who is highly qualified to succeed Charles as the top environmental officer for Southern Company.”

Evans stressed that Southern Company remains committed to meeting the energy needs of the company’s customers in a reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible way.

“Adding Chris to the strong environmental leadership team we already have in place at Southern Company further demonstrates that commitment,” Evans said. “Chris brings to the position a depth of experience and a broad knowledge of the issues, as well as an understanding of what it takes to comply with environmental laws and regulations and how best to do that while putting the energy needs of our customers in the forefront. ”

Hobson joined Georgia Power in 1973. He has held a number of important positions, including manager of environmental laboratory and manager of licensing and compliance. Hobson served in Southern Company’s Washington, D.C., office as manager of agency affairs. He earned degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from Georgia Southern University and Georgia Tech.

Goodman will continue to oversee Southern Company’s overall environmental policies and strategies. He also will continue to report to Paul Bowers, president, Southern Company Generation and Energy Marketing, regarding research and development efforts and to Evans on environmental policy direction. Goodman will spend much of his time on policy and research issues as the company continues to seek cleaner and more efficient ways to meet the energy needs of its customers.

“Both Charles and Chris are viewed as among the best in our industry in terms of knowledge of the issues and how best to tackle the challenges we face today and in the years ahead,” said Bowers. “We must have this kind of leadership as we work to meet the growing demands of the region while continuing to invest in additional environmental controls and continuing our commitment to the environment through our countless stewardship and community efforts.”

With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company, an energy services business and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been named three consecutive years No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” list in the Electric and Gas Utility industry. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index four years in a row and in the latest survey tied for the highest score among all service industry companies. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at