ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today announced that Chris Womack has been elected by the Georgia Power Board of Directors to succeed Paul Bowers as the company's chairman, president and CEO. Bowers' retirement is scheduled to coincide with Vogtle Unit 3 fuel load, which is expected in April 2021. Womack, Southern Company's executive vice president and president of External Affairs, will serve as president of Georgia Power effective November 1, 2020, and assume his additional responsibilities as chairman and CEO upon Bowers' retirement.
"It has been the honor of my life to serve alongside the men and women of Georgia Power. Each day, I have been reminded of their dedication to our customers, our communities and our state both in how they serve our customers and what they do for our communities," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "I'm also extremely proud of the accomplishments the Georgia Power team has made, but most importantly the commitment to building a clean energy future for our state. Their dedication to bringing Vogtle 3 & 4 online to meet the energy needs for the next 60 to 80 years is now within sight. Seeing their incredible progress and having the confidence that Unit 3 will be online to meet our regulatory commitment assures me that it's the right time for us to start the transition to my retirement and leave the company in Chris' capable hands."
"For more than a decade, Paul has led Georgia Power to be the premier energy company it is today. From industry-leading storm response and customer satisfaction, to the growth of a diverse fuel portfolio and a deep commitment to the communities we serve, he has positioned the company for continued success," said Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. "We knew it would take a remarkable leader to follow after him and we're confident Chris is that leader. He is a pillar of the community, and his depth of experience in the energy industry, generation, public policy, governmental and regulatory affairs, and the state will be incredibly valuable as the company works to continue providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy for millions of Georgians. More importantly, Chris leads with a passion for people. The company, its employees and its customers are in good hands."
When Womack assumes his new role in November, he will lead Georgia Power in serving its 2.6 million customers across the state. He will be responsible for the company's customer service, economic development, generation, transmission, distribution, energy efficiency, charitable giving and volunteerism efforts. He'll also lead the company in storm response, environmental efforts and more.
"It's an exciting time to be back at Georgia Power, especially when we're poised to make history with the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in decades," said Chris Womack, executive vice president and president of External Affairs for Southern Company. "This company has an incredible legacy of delivering world class customer service and reliability to Georgians, while also being a leader in the communities it serves. It is an honor to be able to come back and be a part of the wonderful team of people at Georgia Power and help continue their great work."
Serving as executive vice president and president of External Affairs for Southern Company since 2009, Womack has led overall external positioning and branding efforts including the company's public policy strategies and overseen the company's governmental and regulatory affairs, corporate communication initiatives and other external and strategic business engagements.
He joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held several leadership positions within the company and its subsidiaries, serving as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation, where he was responsible for coal, gas, and hydro generation for Georgia Power and Savannah Electric. Womack also served as senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer at Southern Company, as well as senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power. Prior to joining Southern Company, Womack worked for the U.S. House of Representatives for then Congressman Leon E. Panetta.
Womack is a member of the board of directors of Essential Utilities, Inc. He currently chairs the board of the East Lake Foundation, is on the national board of The First Tee and is the incoming chair of the board for the Alliance to Save Energy. Womack has chaired the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau board and the Atlanta Sports Council. He has also chaired the board for Communities in Schools of Georgia and served as a member of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta board. He has received numerous honors, including the SCLC Leadership Award (1998).
A native of Greenville, Alabama, Womack holds a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and a master's degree from The American University. He completed the Stanford Executive Program and is a member of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2000 and the Leadership Birmingham class of 1990.
Bowers joined Southern Company in 1979 at Gulf Power and has served as Georgia Power's chairman, president and CEO for the past 11 years. Under his tenue, Georgia Power has been consistently recognized by J.D. Power for excellence in customer service, customer satisfaction and reliability while keeping rates 15% below the national average.
"Paul has led Georgia Power through enormous change and challenge during his tenure as CEO. His steady leadership, unmatched integrity and total commitment have been critical as we successfully navigated the recovery following the great recession, transitioned the generation fleet, re-imagined our business processes, invested heavily in our electrical infrastructure and near completion of the first new nuclear units in a generation at Vogtle 3 & 4," said Charles Tarbutton, lead director for the Georgia Power Board of Directors. "Paul is intensely focused on serving our customers and communities. On behalf of the full Board, we thank Paul for his tireless dedication and many contributions to this company, its employees and customers, and to the State of Georgia."