Executive Management Changes, Transition Plan Announced at Southern Company

ATLANTA, July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO David M. Ratcliffe today announced that he will retire December 1. As part of the company's succession and management transition plan, Ratcliffe also announced a number of executive appointments.

Thomas A. Fanning, 53, currently the company's chief operating officer, has been named president of Southern Company effective August 1. Upon Ratcliffe's retirement, Fanning will become chairman and CEO of Southern Company.

"During his nearly 30-year career with Southern Company and its subsidiaries, Tom has demonstrated the technical and financial capabilities and the strategic vision needed to guide this company during a period of unprecedented capital expansion and growth," said Ratcliffe. "Moreover, his leadership and team-building qualities will be crucial assets as he navigates a challenging, evolving energy landscape."

Since joining Southern Company in 1980 as a financial analyst, Fanning has held numerous officer-level positions in the areas of finance, strategy, international business development and technology. Prior to becoming executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2008, he was Southern Company's chief financial officer. Fanning also served as president and CEO of the company's Florida subsidiary, Gulf Power, and chief financial officer of subsidiaries Georgia Power and Mississippi Power.

Fanning earned bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, Harvard University School of Business and the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.  Fanning also serves on the board of directors for The St. Joe Company.

In addition, the following leadership changes were announced, effective August 13:

Art P. Beattie, 56, has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Southern Company, where he will oversee the company's accounting, finance, tax, investor relations, treasury and risk management functions.

W. Paul Bowers, 53, currently Southern Company's chief financial officer, has been named chief operating officer of Georgia Power. Bowers will oversee that company's operations, customer service, financial, legal, external affairs and nuclear development functions. He will remain an executive vice president of Southern Company and continue to serve on the Southern Company management council.

Anthony J. Topazi, 60, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Southern Company, succeeding Fanning. In this role, Topazi will have responsibility for Southern Company Generation, Southern Power and Southern Company Transmission.

Edward Day, VI, 50, will succeed Topazi as president and CEO of Mississippi Power, which provides retail electric service to approximately 200,000 customers across the southeastern region of the state. In  addition, the company sells wholesale power to multiple electric power associations and cooperatives in Mississippi.

Ratcliffe noted that each of these individuals brings to their respective roles the knowledge and experience needed to ensure a seamless transition. "With more than 130 years of combined service throughout the Southern Company system, Art, Paul, Anthony and Ed embody the management bench strength that has always been a key part of our strategy for maintaining consistency, stability and long-term success in our business.  Moreover, these leaders will guide the company with the same unquestionable trust, superior performance and total commitment that are the foundation of our values and actions."

Beattie, currently executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Alabama Power, joined the Southern Company system at Alabama Power in 1976 as a junior accountant and progressed through a number of management and officer-level roles in the company's accounting, finance, treasury and corporate governance organizations. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Tennessee and a master of business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also has completed the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

Bowers joined the company in 1979 at Gulf Power. Before being named chief financial officer of Southern Company in 2008, Bowers served as president of Southern Company Generation and president and CEO of Southern Power. He also was president and CEO of the company's former United Kingdom subsidiary, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Southern Company and has held executive positions at Georgia Power. Bowers is a 1978 graduate of the University of West Florida and also holds a master's degree in management from Troy University. In 1993, he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He serves on the boards of Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited and is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's energy policy council.

Topazi, named president and chief executive officer of Mississippi Power in 2004, began his career with Southern Company at Alabama Power in 1969. Progressing through roles of increasing responsibility, he has held executive positions in Alabama Power's customer service organization, including vice president for the divisions serving Birmingham and the state's western region. He also has served as senior vice president of Southern Power – the company subsidiary that acquires, builds, manages and owns wholesale generation assets – and as executive vice president for Southern Company Generation and Energy Marketing. Topazi earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

He serves on the board of directors of the Hancock Bank Holding Company and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta - New Orleans branch, and is a member of the Engineering Council at Auburn University.

Day joined Southern Company in 1983 as an engineer in the company's nuclear operations division and progressed through positions of increasing responsibility across a number of functional areas, including engineering and business development, before becoming executive vice president, engineering and construction services for Southern Company Services in 2003. Day holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and a master of business administration from Samford University. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast.  A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications.  Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices below the national average.  Southern Company is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).  Visit our Web site at www.southerncompany.com.


Tom Fanning
David Ratcliffe
Anthony Topazi
Art Beattie
Paul Bowers
Ed Day



SOURCE Southern Company