Retired Chairman, President, CEO
David Ratcliffe is the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company, one of America’s largest producers of electricity. David became president of Southern Company in April 2004 and assumed the additional responsibilities of CEO and chairman in July 2004. He retired in December 2010.
Widely recognized for his leadership within the U.S. electric utility industry, David is past chairman of the Edison Electric Institute. He received the Distinguished Leadership Award from EEI in 2010, as well as the William S. Lee Award for Leadership from the Nuclear Energy Institute. He also received the Ethics Advocate Award in 2010 from The Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State University.
Prior to becoming CEO of Southern Company, David served five years as CEO of Georgia Power, Southern Company’s largest subsidiary, with more than 2 million customers. He previously had been executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer of Georgia Power.
From 1995 to 1998, David was senior vice president of external affairs for Southern Company. From 1991 to 1995, he was president and CEO of Mississippi Power, another Southern Company subsidiary.
From 1989 to 1991, David served as executive vice president of Southern Company Services with responsibility for fuel services, operating and planning services, and research and environmental affairs. In 1986, he was named vice president of fuel services at Southern Company Services with responsibility for fuel management for the operating subsidiaries of Southern Company.
David joined Georgia Power as a biologist in 1971 and coordinated environmental monitoring and compliance programs in and around power plants.
A native of Tifton, Georgia, David received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Valdosta State University in 1970. He received a law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1975 and is a member of the Georgia Bar Association. He is married to the former Cecelia Chandler of Adel, Georgia. They have two grown children, Andrew and Elizabeth.
David is past chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the boards of CSX Transportation, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Centers for Disease Control Foundation. He previously served on the boards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, EEI and NEI.