Southern Company nominates Blake as director

ATLANTA – Southern Company’s board of directors has named Francis S. Blake as a nominee to stand for election as a director at the company’s Annual Meeting of shareholders on May 26, 2004. Blake is executive vice president of business development and corporate operations for The Home Depot.

“Frank’s public- and private-sector expertise will be a great asset to our board and of significant value to our shareholders,” said Southern Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Allen Franklin. “We are pleased and proud to add Frank Blake as a nominee for our board.” Blake’s election will expand the Southern Company board to 11 members.

Blake, 54, joined The Home Depot in 2002. He previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a role similar to that of chief operating officer in the private sector. There, he was a leader in departmental policy decisions and managed DOE’s annual $19 billion budget.

Prior to that, Blake served in a variety of executive roles at General Electric. As senior vice president, corporate business development, he had oversight of worldwide mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and identification of strategic growth opportunities. He also held the position of general counsel and vice president, business development with GE Power Systems.

Blake’s public sector experience also includes having served as general counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), deputy counsel to Vice President George Bush, and law clerk to Justice Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a jurisprudence degree from Columbia University School of Law.

With 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company, an energy services business and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been named three consecutive years No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” list in the Electric and Gas Utility industry. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index four years in a row, and in the latest survey tied for the highest score among all service industry companies. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at