Top Black Executive Gets New Post at Southern Co.

Southern Co. has promoted Christopher C. Womack to executive vice president and president of external affairs.

Womack will head the company’s federal and state government relations and corporate communications divisions. Though Womack will be based in Atlanta, he is expected to also spend time working out of Washington too.

“With the new administration coming in, there are a multitude of new administration officials and new congressional officials we’re going to have to interact with when it comes to policy discussion,” says Jason Cuevas, a company spokesperson. “Making [Womack’s position] a standalone position would allow the general council office to focus on legal and regulatory issues and also give us an additional resource to engage in policy discussion in Washington and elsewhere.”

Womack currently serves as executive vice president of external affairs for Georgia Power Co., a subsidiary of Southern Co. He oversees governmental and regulatory policy and environmental affairs, among of host of other divisions.

“As a company we’ve always engaged in energy policy issues and we want to continue that engagement to look for balanced solutions to energy issues,” Womack says.

Having ascended to leadership positions throughout his career, Womack also was among Black Enterprise’s 75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America.

“At Southern Co., not only are we embarking on the most extensive capital expenditure program in our history, but we are doing so in a rapidly evolving legislative and regulatory environment,” said David Ratcliffe, chairman and president. “With his extensive experience across all aspects of our business, Chris is well-positioned to lead Southern Company’s efforts in the external affairs arena during this crucial time.”

Womack is a 20-year veteran of the Atlanta-based energy company. He first joined Southern Co. in 1988 as a governmental affairs representative at Alabama Power. Throughout his tenure he’s risen through company assuming the titles of senior vice president and senior production officer, and senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power.

Womack’s experience in governmental affairs spans many years having worked for former Rep. Leon Panetta of California as a legal aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as a staff for the Committee on House Administration.

Southern Co. employs a workforce of 26,000. The company’s total operating revenues were $5.4 billion for the third quarter ending in September, a 12% rise compared to the same period last year.