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."
About Georgia Power Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected schedule for completion of construction and start-up of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including the expected schedule for Unit 3 fuel load. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including extended disruptions to supply chains and further reduced labor availability and productivity, which could have a variety of adverse impacts, including a negative impact on the ability to develop, construct, and operate Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction, and operation of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, which includes components based on new technology that only within the last few years began initial operation in the global nuclear industry at this scale, and including changes in labor costs, availability and productivity, challenges with management of contractors or vendors, subcontractor performance, adverse weather conditions, shortages, delays, increased costs, or inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, delays due to judicial or regulatory action, nonperformance under construction, operating, or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, engineering or design problems, design and other licensing-based compliance matters, including, the timely submittal by Southern Nuclear of the Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria documentation for each unit and the related reviews and approvals by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") necessary to support NRC authorization to load fuel, challenges with start-up activities, including major equipment failure or system integration, and/or operational performance; the ability to overcome or mitigate the current challenges at Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including, but not limited to, those related to COVID-19, that could further impact the cost and schedule for the project; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Public Service Commission approvals and NRC actions; under certain specified circumstances, a decision by holders of more than 10% of the ownership interests of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 not to proceed with construction; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses (including satisfaction of NRC requirements); the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities; the ability of counterparties of Georgia Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power's business resulting from cyber intrusion or physical attack and the threat of physical attacks; and catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events or other similar occurrences. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward–looking information.