Dahlberg becomes new Southern Company CEO

The Southern Company’s board of directors today named A.W. “Bill” Dahlberg chairman and chief executive officer, in addition to his current title of president, succeeding Edward L. Addison, who is retiring after 12 years as CEO and more than 40 years with The Southern Company.

Dahlberg, 54, has served as president of The Southern Company since Jan. 1, 1994. His appointment as chairman and CEO will be effective on March 1, the date of Addison’s retirement.

The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric. Other subsidiaries include Southern Electric International, Southern Company Services, Southern Nuclear, Southern Communications Services, and Southern Development and Investment Group. The Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

In announcing the board’s decision, Addison, 65, said, “Bill Dahlberg’s style of leadership, broad background in the utility industry, skills as a communicator, and citizenship in the community will serve him well as he guides The Southern Company into the next century. I’m confident that under his direction, The Southern Company will continue to grow and prosper as one of the most progressive utility systems in the world.”

Dahlberg noted that under Addison’s stewardship, The Southern Company’s assets have grown from about $14 billion in 1983 to more than $27 billion today, the company’s market value has increased 245 percent, and profits have topped $1 billion -- while the company’s electric rates have remained among the most competitive in the nation.

“Few other companies are better positioned to face the changes sweeping the electric utility industry today than The Southern Company,” Dahlberg said. “And our financial strength and ability to successfully compete in this new environment are due, in large part, to the vision and leadership of Ed Addison.”

Dahlberg, a native of Atlanta, began his career with The Southern Company at age 19 when he joined Georgia Power as a meter installer. Over the next three decades, he worked his way through the organization, holding the positions of vice president of financial services, vice president of bulk power resources, and senior vice president of marketing at Georgia Power; and senior vice president at Southern Company Services, with responsibility for marketing, rates, and governmental affairs. He was named president and chief executive officer of Southern Company Services in 1985, and he became president and chief executive officer of Georgia Power in 1988.

Dahlberg serves on the board of directors of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade organization for the nation’s investor-owned electric utilities. He is chairman of the policy committee on energy resources and is a member of the budget and governmental affairs committees at EEI. He also serves on EEI’s CEO steering committee on electric transportation and is a national spokesman on electric vehicle research.

Dahlberg is a director of Trust Company Bank of Georgia, Protective Life Corp., and Equifax Inc. He serves on the board of directors of the Georgia State University Alumni Association, the advisory board of Georgia State University’s College of Business Administration, the board of trustees of the Robert Woodruff Arts Center, the executive board of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the board of directors of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

Dahlberg is chairman of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and recently completed a term as chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as vice chairman of the board of councilors of The Carter Center and the policy advisory board for The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project. He is a member of the Governor’s Development Council in Georgia and the Georgia Research Alliance. He served as chairman of the 1991 United Way campaign for metro Atlanta, and he was named Georgia Trend magazine’s 1994 “Man of the Year” for his leadership in economic development.

Dahlberg received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University and completed executive management programs at Stanford University and Emory University.