ATLANTA Southern Company announced today that Gale Klappa has been named chief marketing officer. Klappa also will retain his current responsibilities as chief strategic officer for Southern Company. Alan Martin, who previously held the position of chief marketing officer, was recently named executive vice president of external relations at Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company.
With his new position, Gale will bring together the strategic planning and marketing efforts of our company to better support our growth strategy, said Southern Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Dahlberg. Gales previous experience in both the regulated and competitive areas of our business prepares him well for this assignment.
In October, Klappa was named Southern Companys chief strategic officer. Before that assignment, Klappa served as president of the North America Group of Southern Energy Inc., a unit of Southern Company and one of the worlds largest independent power producers.
Gale will continue to focus on our marketing strategy and implement an efficient, unified approach to Southern Companys marketing efforts, Dahlberg added. Gale is a bright thinker with a keen business sense and strong customer focus. With his leadership, Southern Company will continue to build strong brand awareness and pursue growth opportunities. Gales new challenge is a natural step for him. Hes moved into positions of increasing responsibility during the years and he brings a proven track record of strategic thinking combined with strong performance.
Klappa, 49, was president and chief executive officer of South Western Electricity (SWEB) in Bristol, England, from 1995 until December 1998, when he returned to the United States to be president of the North America Group. SWEB, which Southern Energy owns in partnership with PP&L Resources and whose name has been changed to Western Power Distribution, distributes electricity to 1.3 million customers in southwest England. Under Klappas leadership, SWEB accomplished a major turnaround in operations and financial performance. In the area of customer service, SWEB went from worst to first in a national ranking of customer satisfaction.
From 1992 to 1995, Klappa served as senior vice president of marketing at Georgia Power, Southern Companys largest subsidiary. He also directed the companys efforts in economic development and electric vehicle research. His 25-year career in the energy industry has also included managerial assignments in external affairs, pricing, forecasting, consumer research and sales to commercial, industrial and residential customers.
Klappa earned a bachelors degree in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1972.
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company that operates more than 48,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity worldwide. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the worlds largest independent power producers. Southern Company subsidiaries and their affiliates serve 12 million retail customers worldwide and millions more through the wholesale market. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.
Through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, Southern Company has operations in 12 countries on five continents and has a growing presence in North America with assets in the Northeast, the Midwest, California and Texas. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services in the United States and Europe and offers Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.