Southern Company announced the election of Larry D. Thompson as lead independent director of its board of directors.
A member of the Southern Company board of directors from 2010 through 2012, Thompson rejoined the company’s board in 2014. He currently serves as a John A. Sibley professor of corporate and business law at The University of Georgia School of Law.
Thompson previously served as deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice and led the department’s National Security Coordination Council. In 2002, President George W. Bush named Thompson to head the Corporate Fraud Task Force.
His broad-ranging legal career has also included serving as a litigator at the Atlanta, Georgia law firm of King & Spalding LLP — where he was named partner in 1986; chairing the Judicial Review Commission on Foreign Asset Control; being named an independent counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development; serving as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia; and acting as a member of the attorney general’s Economic Crime Council.
Thompson has also served as executive vice president of government affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary of PepsiCo, Inc. and as a senior fellow with The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C.
“Success in business today requires a deep understanding of how to address changing laws and regulations,” said Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Larry’s extensive legal experience in both the public and private sectors has shaped an informed perspective that will help us meet the needs of customers and investors.”
Thompson is the recipient of the Edmund Jennings Randolph Award for outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the Department of Justice’s mission, the Outstanding Litigator Award from the Federal Bar Association and the A.T. Walden Award for outstanding accomplishments in the legal profession from the Gate City Bar Association, the oldest African-American bar association in Georgia.
A member of the board of directors for the Graham Holdings Company and various Franklin, Templeton and Mutual Series Funds, Thompson is also an elected Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.
Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree from Culver-Stockton College, a Master of Arts from Michigan State University and a juris doctor from the University of Michigan.
With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 44,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company has more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 44,000 MW of generating capacity, mainly in the southeast U.S.