KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – William (Bill) Dean Johnson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, announced his retirement from the federal agency today (Nov. 14). Johnson, who joined TVA in 2013, will turn 65 in January. He is TVA’s second CEO.
The TVA Board is actively conducting an internal and external search, which could take a number of months. Johnson will continue as CEO through the period of selection and orientation to transition the new CEO and sustain strong and continuous leadership for TVA and the Valley.
“Bill Johnson has done a terrific job. His strong leadership and deep industry expertise steered TVA on a course for long-term future success. He improved TVA’s financial health and operational performance, engaged TVA employees and established better relationships with our customers, elected officials, industry regulators and community leaders,” said TVA Board Chair Richard Howorth.
“On behalf of the entire Board, I thank him for his dedicated service thus far and his willingness to continue serving until we identify the next leader for this important organization.”
During Johnson’s tenure, TVA achieved several milestones, including:
- reducing TVA debt by $3.5 billion to its lowest debt level in 25 years
- reducing the effective price of energy for TVA customers two percent from 2013 levels
- diversifying TVA’s energy portfolio, and making significant progress toward cleaner energy options
- completing and bringing online the nation’s first new nuclear power plant of the 21st century, Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2, and improving the performance of TVA’s entire nuclear fleet
- completing the Paradise combined-cycle natural gas plant ahead of schedule and $220 million under budget
- completing the state-of-the-art Allen combined-cycle plant for reliability, reduced emissions and flexibility
- completing the $1 billion clean-air improvement project at Gallatin Fossil Plant
- maintaining 99.999 percent reliability in the delivery of TVA power while investing in the power system
- beginning work on a $300 million multi-year initiative to upgrade the power system’s fiber optic telecommunication system
Under Johnson’s guidance and leadership, TVA also improved customer loyalty and employee engagement to the highest levels in recent years as he refocused TVA employees on the organization’s mission of service fulfilled through energy, environmental stewardship and economic development.
Johnson also continued to partner with TVA stakeholders to manage TVA’s natural resources, including the reservoir system that supports $12 billion in business and 130,000 jobs each year. In addition, through partnerships with economic development organizations across the Valley, he led efforts to help attract $48 billion in new investment and 420,000 jobs.
Continued Howarth, “TVA is well positioned and will continue providing outstanding value for our customers, our partners and the people of the Tennessee Valley. Our Board sees first-hand how Bill’s leadership has set TVA up for success and we are confident that a smooth transition will take place when we announce a successor.”
“TVA has a direct, positive impact on the quality of life in the Tennessee Valley, and I have been privileged and honored to lead this organization and the great people who work here,” said Johnson.
“Together we have continued to execute on TVA’s mission of providing low-cost and ever-cleaner energy, partnering to create jobs and bring capital investment to the region, and promoting stewardship of the resources of the Tennessee Valley. The individual who serves as the next CEO will quickly become committed and invested in serving the people of the region – as I have been. And they will continue to position TVA to serve the Valley for generations to come.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.