Executive management changes announced at Southern Company

May 24, 2012, 11:00 ET from Southern Company

ATLANTA, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning today announced a number of changes within the company's management team, effective July 1.

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Mark A. Crosswhite will become executive vice president and chief operating officer for Southern Company. He will be responsible for Southern Company's operations, which includes generation, transmission, engineering and construction services, system planning, research and environmental affairs, Southern Power and Southern Wholesale Energy.

Crosswhite will assume the role vacated by Anthony J. Topazi, who has announced plans to retire.

Stanley W. Connally Jr. will replace Crosswhite as president and CEO of Gulf Power, Southern Company's subsidiary that provides electricity and energy services in Northwest Florida to more than 431,000 customers.

John L. Pemberton will succeed Connally as senior vice president and senior production officer of generation at Georgia Power, Southern Company's largest subsidiary serving 2.4 million customers. Pemberton will have responsibility for the company's fossil and hydro generation. 

Leigh Davis Perry will replace Pemberton as senior vice president and general counsel for Southern Company operations and Southern Nuclear, Southern Company's nuclear plant operating company.

"Each of these individuals has a depth of experience throughout our system that has prepared them to assume these new leadership positions," said Fanning. "At Southern Company, we take very seriously the responsibility of developing leaders to continue the bench strength required to run our company.

"Moreover, we have been in business for more than 100 years, and these executives are part of a century-old strategy for maintaining consistency, stability and long-term success in our business."

During his 42 years of service, Topazi has held a number of key leadership roles. Prior to his current role, he was CEO of Mississippi Power, where he led the company's recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. In that role, he also served as the primary executive responsible for the business development and government approval of the first Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG) plant to be built in the Southern Company system.

Additionally, while serving as vice president of Alabama Power's western division, Topazi was one of two designated negotiators who convinced Mercedes-Benz to bring its first North American automobile plant to Alabama.

"Throughout his career, Anthony's unparalleled leadership and drive have led Southern Company and its subsidiaries through some of its greatest challenges," remarked Fanning. "He has served as a voice for our customers, and his singular vision has had a far-reaching influence on the future success of our company and industry."

Crosswhite, 49, joined Southern Company in 2004 as senior vice president and general counsel for Southern Company's generation organization. He previously held leadership positions at Alabama Power in the legal and external affairs organizations. Prior to joining Southern Company, he was a partner in the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP in Birmingham, Ala., where he practiced in the energy section for 17 years.

Connally, 42, began his career with Southern Company in 1989 as a co-op student at Georgia Power's Plant Yates. He held positions in various functional areas, including customer operations, sales and marketing, and power generation prior to becoming plant manager at Mississippi Power's Plants Watson and Daniel. Connally also was plant manager at Alabama Power, with responsibility for all electric generating units at Plant Barry, Theodore Co-Generation Plant, and Washington County Co-Generation Plant.

Pemberton, 43, served as vice president of governmental affairs in Southern Company's Washington, D.C., office prior to his current role. Before joining Southern Company, Pemberton served as chief of staff for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation. Prior to joining EPA, Pemberton served as Republican counsel and then chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Perry, 40, is currently vice president of charitable giving for Alabama Power and president of the Alabama Power Foundation. During her career, Perry has held various positions at Alabama Power and Southern Company, including serving as an attorney in the company's Washington, D.C., office.  She has held leadership roles in governmental affairs, environmental affairs, economic and community development, generation, compliance, information technology and real estate.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 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 also is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

SOURCE Southern Company