James Mitchell had a vision – a vast network of hydroelectric generating stations and power lines spanning the Southeast and bringing economic prosperity to a region largely excluded from the Industrial Revolution. On Jan. 5, 1912, Mitchell gave a name to his dream when he founded Alabama Traction, Light & Power, the first in a succession of holding companies that would one day evolve into Southern Company.
In 2012, Southern Company became the latest in an exclusive fraternity of U.S. businesses to celebrate its 100th anniversary – and we celebrated in style. On the morning of Jan. 5, CFO Art Beattie rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, marking the occasion for a national television audience. That afternoon, CEO Tom Fanning presided over a companywide “Founders Day” webcast that reunited the company’s four most recently retired CEOs – David Ratcliffe, Allen Franklin, Bill Dahlberg and Ed Addison. Those two events kicked off a yearlong effort to commemorate those who built and sustained our company through its first century, while sparking the imaginations of those who have inherited its legacy.
James Mitchell’s pioneering spirit launched a resilient enterprise that has endured through good times and bad. In beginning our second hundred years, we are harnessing that same spirit of innovation through our commitment to “honor the past and build for the future.”