Southern Company announced that Chris Womack, executive vice president and president of external affairs, has been elected by the Georgia Power Board of Directors to succeed Paul Bowers as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Georgia Power.
Bowers’ retirement is scheduled to coincide with the Vogtle Unit 3 fuel load, which is expected in April 2021. Womack will serve as president of Georgia Power effective Nov. 1, 2020, and assume his additional responsibilities as chairman and CEO upon Bowers’ retirement.
Womack 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.
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, 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.
Womack is a member of the board of directors of Essential Utilities Inc. He 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. He has received numerous honors, including the SCLC Leadership Award (1998). 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.
“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 Womack. “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.”
Bowers joined Southern Company in 1979 at Gulf Power and has served in his current role for the past 11 years. Under his tenure, 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.
“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 Bowers. “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.”
Southern Company today also announced the promotion of Bryan D. Anderson, senior vice president of governmental affairs, to the roles of executive vice president and president of external affairs, effective Nov. 1, succeeding Womack. Anderson will serve on the company’s executive management council.
Since joining Southern Company in 2010, Anderson has managed and directed the company’s political, policy and regulatory activities. He will continue to manage and be based out of Southern Company’s Washington, D.C., office. In his new role, Anderson also assumes responsibility for the company’s branding, corporate communications, security policy and other external affairs functions.
Before joining Southern Company, Anderson worked for The Coca-Cola Company as vice president of government relations and public affairs. During that time, he served as that company’s primary liaison to the federal government and oversaw the planning, budget development and administration for its government relations function. He has a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Georgia and a juris doctor from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.
Southern Company serves 9 million customers through its subsidiaries, providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services.
Georgia Power uses a mix of nuclear, natural gas, hydro, other renewables, coal and energy efficiency. Hydropower accounts for about 2% of Georgia Power’s total generation output.