Part of Grid Network »

The Grid Professionals Group covers electric current from its transmission step down to each customer's home. 

Podcast / Audio

Transcending Success – Southern Company’s Tom Fanning

image credit: Martin Rosenberg
Martin Rosenberg's picture
Journalist, Author, Social Media and Conference Architect Hippo Energy Media

Experienced journalist, executive conference architect, strategic thinker with a demonstrated history of working in information services. Strong professional skilled in Copywriting, Editing...

  • Member since 2005
  • 64 items added with 33,275 views
  • Mar 5, 2021

In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Tom Fanning who is the Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company. Southern Company has a physical presence in 18 states and is a recognized provider of customized energy solutions across the country. The discussion focuses on several topics including cybersecurity, a carbon-free future, distributive energy, and rapid changes in the utility industry

The podcast starts with a discussion about cybersecurity and the electrical grid following the SolarWinds hack.

“It is a stark reminder for all the advantages the digital economy gives us, how vulnerable we can be if we don’t act with the right sense of propriety in protecting those assets,” said fanning.

Mr. Fanning also talks about Southern Company’s goal of net-zero carbon operations by 2050.

“Critical to getting to this future will be the development of technology whether it’s battery storage, whether it’s hydrogen, whether it’s doing something to attack the carbon atom itself, carbon capture and storage, EVs; there’s a whole lot we’ve got to do as a nation to get there.”

Finally, he talks about Southern Company’s overall business strategy and he explains “pursuing creative destruction.”

Tom Fanning has been Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company since 2010. With more than 35 years of experience at Southern Company, Mr. Fanning also serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and holds senior positions in several business and public policy organizations. He is an internationally respected voice on topics that range from energy innovation and economic growth, to cybersecurity.

Mr. Fanning earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from Georgia Tech. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Grid Talk is a podcast featuring the leaders and innovators shaping the 21st century grid. Hear the stories—in their own words—of how they are meeting the challenges and transitioning their businesses to operate successfully in a new era of evolving markets, changing regulations, higher customer expectation, increasing cybersecurity threats, demands for cleaner energy sources, growing customer-owned generations and emerging technology. The podcast is part of Department of Energy’s Voices of Experience, an initiative that supports grid modernization by sharing insights, lessons learned and advice on operating in a rapidly evolving industry.

About the Host

Grid Talk is hosted by award winning, energy journalist Marty Rosenberg. For nearly 40 years, Marty has been covering business, energy, finance, and technology. He was the Editor-in-Chief for EnergyBiz from 2004 to 2014. EnergyBiz was an award-winning national publication covering energy and utilities. Marty has been published in multiple media outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post and USA Today. Marty plugs into the industry knowledge base to deliver critical information about the opportunities and challenges facing utilities today. The result is engaging conversations about modernizing our electric grid.

For more episodes -


Martin Rosenberg's picture
Thank Martin for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member
Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.

No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »