Thomas A. "Tom" Fanning is president of Southern Company. Elected by the board of directors in July 2010, Fanning became president of Southern Company in August 2010 and will assume the additional responsibilities of CEO and chairman in December.
Fanning has worked for Southern Company for 29 years and was most recently chief operating officer, where he was responsible for Southern Company’s generation and transmission, engineering and construction services, research and environmental affairs, system planning and the company’s competitive generation business units. Fanning was also responsible for leading Southern Company’s efforts on business strategy and also served as a director of Southern Nuclear.
Fanning has also served as the company’s chief financial officer, where he was responsible for the company’s accounting, finance, tax, investor relations, treasury and risk management functions. In this role, he also served as the chief risk officer and had responsibility for corporate strategy. Prior to assuming the role of chief financial officer, Fanning was president and CEO of Gulf Power.
During his career, Fanning has held numerous officer positions with a variety of Southern Company subsidiaries in the areas of finance, strategy, international business development and technology.
While at Gulf Power, Fanning was active in the state arena. He worked closely with Governor Jeb Bush to develop state government policy, served on the Governor’s Transition Policy Team, and in 2003 was appointed by Governor Bush to co-chair the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Advisory Committee.
Fanning serves on the board of directors for The St. Joe Company, one of Florida’s largest real estate companies, as well as on the Georgia Tech College of Management Advisory Board. He also is a member of the board of the Southern Center for International Studies.
Fanning earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management from Georgia Institute of Technology. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, Harvard University School of Business and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
A resident of Atlanta for more than 39 years, Fanning was born in Morristown, New Jersey.
My time as part of SAA's Ramblin' On committee was a phenomenal one. I simply loved the experience, which allowed me to help plan a major event while developing necessary communication and cooperation skills with both other members of the committee and professionals, as well. Plus, the group of students I worked with ultimately all became my friends, which is an invaluable feeling!! - Josh Brown, HTS 2015, SAA Committee Chair
Mentor Jackets program is awesome. I not only have a wonderful mentor, but also ended up having a lifetime friend who can offer me advice and help whenever I need it. I will participate in this program every year. The program provides precious opportunities for students to connect closely with alumni. - Zhong Chen, Master's CS 2013, Mentor Jackets Participant
Being a part of the Student Alumni Association opened doors at Georgia Tech that I would never have dreamed of. During my time as a member of SAA, I was given the opportunity to coordinate a Dinner Jacket event with Tom Fanning, the CEO of Southern Company and a fellow Yellow Jacket. That was easily one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences from my time at Tech. Plus, I got a free steak out of it! - Imran Ali, MGT 2012, Dinner Jackets Participant