The company also announced that Don Horsley, vice president of customer services for Mississippi Power, will succeed Dawson as president and CEO of SouthernLINC Wireless and Southern Telecom. Horsley will transition into his new role Aug. 1. Dawson will remain with the company, serving as chairman of the board, until his retirement on Oct. 1.
"I am looking forward to continuing to serve Southern Company stockholders as chairman of the board for SouthernLINC Wireless and Southern Telecom and turning over the position of president and CEO to Don Horsley," said Dawson. "The telecommunications industry is challenging and competitive, and Don's experience in sales, marketing and customer service will serve him well as he assumes leadership of SouthernLINC Wireless."
Dawson's career began with Southern Company Services in 1964 as a co-operative education student in the system planning department; after which, he held positions in the fuel services, bulk power marketing and rate departments of Southern Company, followed by vice president of power generation and delivery for Mississippi Power. Just prior to the inception of SouthernLINC Wireless, he served as vice president of Latin America and Caribbean assets for Southern Electric International.
Leading SouthernLINC Wireless since its commercial launch in 1996, Dawson concurrently serves as president and CEO of Southern Telecom, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SouthernLINC Wireless. Southern Telecom provides long-haul and metropolitan dark fiber that connects Atlanta with smaller cities throughout the Southeast.
A registered professional engineer in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, Dawson earned a bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and an MBA from Georgia State University. He currently sits on the boards of directors of three industry trade groups: CTIA–The Wireless Association®, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance and Rural Cellular Association (RCA). Earlier this year, Dawson was honored with the RCA Outstanding Achievement Award, which celebrates the efforts of an individual in the cellular telecommunications business who made extraordinary contributions to the industry and the RCA during the previous year.
Part of Southern Company for more than 30 years, Horsley has been serving as Mississippi Power's vice president of customer services since 2006. He joined Alabama Power in 1978 as an engineer and later served as that company's transmission lines manager for power delivery, Birmingham division manager, general manager of human resources and assistant to the executive vice president of customer services.
"During my tenure at Alabama Power and Mississippi Power, I have witnessed firsthand how critical SouthernLINC Wireless is to Southern Company's core business operations, especially during storm and disaster recovery," said Horsley. "I am eager to begin leading the day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives of SouthernLINC Wireless."
A native of Birmingham, Horsley holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the University of Alabama.
Horsley currently serves on the Power Delivery Council of the Electric Power Research Institute and as board chairman for the United Way of South Mississippi. He is a member of the Bagley College of Engineering Diversity Advisory Council at Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Energy Policy Institute Board, chairing the energy efficiency and smart grid committee.
About SouthernLINC Wireless
SouthernLINC Wireless, a Southern Company (NYSE: SO), is an Atlanta-based regional wireless carrier with network coverage in the major metro and rural areas of Alabama, Georgia, southeast Mississippi and northwest Florida. SouthernLINC Wireless combines multiple communication options, including Push To Talk two-way radio (PTT), cellular service, wireless Internet access, wireless data, and text and picture messaging, into one hand-held device. In addition to regional network coverage, the company offers nationwide access through roaming agreements for cellular, PTT, data, and text and picture messaging services in more than 540 cities throughout the U.S. For more information, please call 1-800-818-LINC (5462) or visit www.southernlinc.com.
About Southern Company
With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 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 that are below the national average. Southern Company was named the World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility by Fortune magazine in 2011, and is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.
SOURCE SouthernLINC Wireless