Southern Company executive named president of U.K. utility
South Western Electricity (SWEB) announced today its board of directors has elected Paul Bowers president of the British electric utility. Bowers most recently served as senior vice president of marketing for Georgia Power, Savannah Electric and Gulf Power, subsidiaries of Southern Company, which owns SWEB in partnership with PP&L Global.
Bowers will succeed Gale Klappa as president. Klappa will remain as chairman and chief executive of SWEB until later this year, when he will return to the United States to assume new responsibilities with Southern Company.
"Pauls skills and experience make him an ideal leader to guide SWEB through the challenges of a fully competitive electricity market in the United Kingdom, said A.W. Dahlberg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company. Paul will continue to focus on delivering high levels of service and value to SWEBs 1.3 million customers.
Bowers, 41, was named senior vice president of marketing for Georgia Power in September of 1995, replacing Klappa when he became chief executive at SWEB. In that capacity, Bowers was responsible for guiding all marketing activities at Georgia Power, Savannah Electric and Gulf Power including strategic market planning, pricing, forecasting, consumer research and sales. He also directed the companys efforts in economic development and served as executive sponsor for Southern Companys electric transportation initiatives.
Bowers has held leadership positions in many of Atlantas community and business organizations including the Georgia Council on Child Abuse, the Japan America Society of Georgia, the SciTrek science museum and Southern Regional Health Systems Inc. He graduated from the University of West Florida with a bachelor of science degree. He also holds a master of science in management and is a graduate of Harvard Business Schools Advanced Management Program for senior executives. He and his wife, Karen, have two children.
SWEB, based in Bristol, England, provides electricity to more than 1.3 million customers in southwestern England. Since Southern Company acquired SWEB in September 1995, the British utility has achieved numerous customer service and operational milestones including:
A 45 percent improvement in reliability (as measured by the number of outage minutes per customer).
Four price reductions for residential and small business customers.
A turnaround from having the most complaints of any electricity company in the United Kingdom (per 100,000 customers) to the fewest customer complaints.
Southern Company sold a 25 percent interest in SWEB to PP&L Global in 1996 and an additional 26 percent to PP&L Global in June 1998.
The June transaction increased PP&Ls economic interest in SWEB to 51 percent, while Southern Energy retains operational and management control. Southern Company, through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, continues to hold a majority of the voting shares and retain a majority on the board of directors.
Southern Energy Inc. develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services to utilities and industrial companies around the world. Southern Energy supplies energy in 10 countries on four continents.
Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is also the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.
PP&L Global, a subsidiary of PP&L Resources Inc., develops, owns and operates electric generation and distribution companies worldwide. In addition to its interest in South Western Electricity, a U.K. distribution company, PP&L Global also owns 29 percent of Emel, a distribution company in Chile, and has holdings in El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Spain and Portugal.
PP&L Resources, based in Allentown, Pa., also is the parent company of PP&L Inc., which provides electricity service to 1.2 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania. PP&L generates and sells retail electricity throughout Pennsylvania and trades wholesale energy in 26 states and Canada.