Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr., chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Savannah Electric and Power Company, will retire October 1 after 40 years of service to the Company. G. Edison (Ed) Holland, Jr., president of Savannah Electric, succeeds Gignilliat as CEO.
Gignilliat joined the Company in 1957. Prior to being named president in 1982, he served as vice president-public affairs, administrative vice president, assistant sales manager and director of advertising.
During his tenure as CEO, Savannah Electric was able to stabilize and subsequently reduce rates while at the same time increasing shareholder return and customer satisfaction. A milestone was reached in 1997 as the Company marked the 12 year anniversary of its last base rate hike. Several rate reductions have occurred in the interim.
In 1987, Gignilliat led the Company into merger talks with Southern Company. Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the nation`s largest producer of electricity and is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi
Power and Savannah Electric. The merger was consummated in March of 1988 whereupon Savannah Electric became the fifth operating subsidiary of the giant utility holding company.
Gignilliat has also been active in state and local affairs. Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives from Chatham County, he served from 1966 to 1981. Gignilliat chaired the University System Board of Regents from 1985 to 1986, and completed ten years of service to that board in 1993. He has served on several other business and non-profit boards and in numerous civic leadership positions. Governor Miller recently named Gignilliat to the Georgia Board of Industry, Trade and Tourism for a five year term.
Raised in Savannah, Gignilliat attended Armstrong Junior College and received a degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia in 1955.
He is married to the former Molly Barnhardt of Savannah. They have two children and five grandchildren.
Gignilliat will be honored by an employee/retiree reception to be held at the Company on his last day, September 30.
Holland came to Savannah Electric in July from Gulf Power, also a subsidiary of Southern Company. "Ed Holland will bring great energy, initiative and experience to bear in meeting the challenges of our changing business. I know our customers, employees and shareholders will be in good hands under his leadership," Gignilliat said.
The 44 year-old Holland, is married to the former Elizabeth (Betsy) Bird and the couple has two daughters, Laura and Caroline.