Southern Company today announced Chris Cummiskey, currently Group CEO for Southern Energy Resources and executive vice president of Southern Company Services Commercial Development, will succeed Mark Lantrip, who is retiring after 40 years of service. Cummiskey has been named executive vice president and Chief Commercial and Customer Solutions Officer for Southern Company, effective Jan. 1, 2021.
“As Southern Company continues to lead the way toward a new energy landscape, we will look to the diverse capabilities of our operating companies, unregulated businesses and the industry-leading research and development efforts,” said Tom Fanning, chairman, president & CEO of Southern Company. “Chris is a valued member of the Southern Company team with a laser focus on delivering on our commitments to our customers, employees and shareholders as we decarbonize our operations to a net zero emissions future.”
As Chief Commercial and Customer Solutions Officer, Cummiskey will be responsible for delivering growth and customer solutions across Southern Company’s subsidiaries. This role will be customer focused, driving efficiencies and collaboration of Southern Company’s customer, marketing and branding strategies across the companies.
Cummiskey also will oversee innovation functions including Southern Company’s Research and Development and New Ventures organizations. In addition to these system-wide responsibilities, Cummiskey will serve as Chairman and CEO of Southern Power, PowerSecure and Southern Holdings.
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Chris over the past six years, and I am proud to have him continue to leverage the great work of our regulated and unregulated companies with a common goal of driving value for customers,” said Lantrip. “This position is critical to meet the goals we have set for ourselves on behalf of our customers, and I am confident in Chris’s ability to continue to lead this effort on behalf of Southern Company.”
Lantrip, who will be retiring effective April 2021, most recently served as the executive vice president for Southern Company and chief executive officer of Southern Company Services. He joined the company in 1981 as an analyst at Gulf Power and progressed through increasing levels of responsibilities at Georgia Power and Southern Company Services. Over the last six years in his role with SCS, Lantrip has been responsible for setting direction and driving marketing collaboration across the regulated and unregulated companies. He also has overseen the growth of Southern Company’s unregulated businesses and innovative strategies including Southern Company’s R&D organization and New Ventures.
“Over a distinguished 40-year career, Mark has been well ahead of the pack on recognizing and adopting the technology and innovation transforming the energy industry. A trusted friend and a sharp business mind, Mark has helped position Southern Company as a leader that is building and shaping the future of energy as opposed to a company having change forced upon it,” said Fanning.
Before becoming Group CEO for Southern Energy Resources earlier this year, Cummiskey served as executive vice president of external affairs and nuclear development for Georgia Power. Previously in his career, Cummiskey served as chief commercial officer of Southern Power and as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Cummiskey is a past member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Ports Authority and the Georgia board of trustees for the Nature Conservancy. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Rebecca, reside in Atlanta with their two children, Addison and Jack.
During his career, Lantrip also served as chairman of Southern Power, PowerSecure and Southern Holdings, the Southern Company businesses units organized into the Southern Energy Resources Group in 2020. In previous roles, Lantrip served as executive vice president of finance for Southern Company Services and Southern Company treasurer with responsibility for financial planning and analysis, enterprise risk management, trust finance, capital markets and treasury.
Lantrip’s career focused on innovation in the energy space. He serves as co-chair of the Institute for Electric Innovation, an Institute of the Edison Foundation focused on advancing the adoption of innovative and efficient technologies among electric utilities and their technology partners that will transform the power grid. Additionally, he is a founding member and chairs the board of The Alliance for Transportation Electrification, a broad coalition of organizations advocating for an acceleration of transportation electrification in all states across the country. Lantrip also was crucial to the development of Energy Impact Partners, the investment platform investing in innovative technologies, services and products throughout the energy supply chain and led Southern Company’s involvement in the private equity firm when it formed in 2015.
“I am so thankful to have served at Southern Company and play a role in studying, researching and implementing the innovative energy solutions that are benefitting customers, communities and stakeholders,” said Lantrip. “The people are the heart of Southern Company, people putting our customers at the center of everything they do every day. I want to thank the thousands of colleagues, teammates and friends I encountered during my career. I will always value our time together and it is those relationships I will miss most. But I retire knowing Chris will expertly guide the company in finding the next generation of technological breakthroughs and innovations.”
Lantrip holds a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University and a master's degree from the University of West Florida. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children and five grandchildren.
About Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business to the benefit of our world. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have been recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Defense, G.I. Jobs magazine, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, Forbes and the Women's Choice Award.