Klappa named president of SWEB

Gale E. Klappa has been appointed president and chief executive officer of South Western Electricity plc, the electric distribution utility serving southwestern England, Southern Electric International President Tom Boren announced today.

Klappa will direct the business operations of South Western Electricity, which was acquired by Southern Electric International, a unit of The Southern Company.

Southern Electric International develops, builds, owns, and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of technical services for utilities and industrial companies in the U.S. and international markets.

The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is also the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric. Other subsidiaries include Southern Nuclear, Southern Development and Investment Group, and Southern Company Services. Together, these companies make up one of the largest electric utility groups in the United States.

South Western Electricity, one of 12 regional electric distribution companies in the United Kingdom, serves 1.3 million customers in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Avon. The company is headquartered in Bristol, England.

Klappa, 45, previously served as senior vice president of marketing at Georgia Power, responsible for guiding that company’s marketing activities, including pricing, forecasting, consumer research, sales, and development of energy efficiency programs. He also directed the company’s efforts in economic development and electric vehicle research, provided management oversight of Georgia Power’s involvement with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and was involved in strategic planning for The Southern Company.

In announcing the appointment, Boren said, “Gale Klappa’s skill and experience in management, communications, strategic planning, and customer relations make him uniquely suited to guide the operations of South Western Electricity. The appointment of a senior executive of his stature demonstrates The Southern Company’s commitment to South Western Electricity and its customers.”

Klappa also has served as vice president of public relations at Southern Company Services, responsible for corporate communications programs of The Southern Company, Southern Company Services, and Southern Electric International.

Klappa joined The Southern Company in 1974 as a senior public relations assistant at Southern Company Services. He served as manager of news and corporate information and director of public relations before being named vice president of public relations in 1981. He became senior vice president of marketing at Georgia Power in 1992.

A native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Klappa received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a director and past president of the Electric Information Council, an industry trade organization, and he is a member of the Transportation Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute, the research and development arm of the U.S. electric utility industry. He also has served on the Executive Advisory Committee and the Marketing Study Task Force of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned electric utilities in the United States.

In addition, a senior management team of Southern Company employees has been appointed to help direct the operations of South Western Electricity:

- C.B. “Mike” Harreld - finance director. Harreld, 51, has been vice president, comptroller, and chief accounting officer of Georgia Power since 1986. He was responsible for the company’s financial statements, accounting functions, and regulatory issues.

- Alan W. Harrelson - director of operations. Harrelson, 47, has been serving as general manager, power delivery, for the northern region of Georgia Power. He was responsible for a large network underground electric distribution system as well as a work force involved in the construction of overhead and underground distribution systems.

- C. Philip Saunders - commercial marketing director. Saunders, 43, has been western region and power marketing director for U.S. business development at Southern Electric International. His responsibilities included the management of independent power generation for industrial customers, structuring of wholesale loads, and power marketing issues.

Harreld, Harrelson, and Saunders also have been named to South Western Electricity’s board of directors.