NAPERVILLE, Ill. – June 17, 2020 – Southern Company Gas has appointed Executive Vice President and Chief External and Public Affairs Officer John O. Hudson, III to a new role as president and CEO of Nicor Gas, the largest natural gas distribution company in the state of Illinois. Hudson will succeed Melvin D. Williams, who has announced plans to retire, effective September 1.
“John Hudson brings to Nicor Gas a combination of strong judgement and vision that will position the company for further success as we advance into a new decade focused on innovation, growth and the development of our communities,” said Kim Greene, Southern Company Gas chairman, president and CEO. “Under his leadership, I am confident Nicor Gas will continue to not only deliver superior service for our customers and stakeholders, but to help Northern Illinois thrive.”
“Melvin Williams is a dedicated and respected leader who has been an ardent champion of natural gas and its benefits. His leadership will be greatly missed,” continued Greene. “Melvin’s many accomplishments span his 30-year career with Southern Company Gas, and our industry is better thanks to his contributions. We all wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
As the chief executive at Nicor Gas, Hudson will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas to over 2.2 million homes and businesses in more than 650 northern Illinois communities. A 20-year Southern Company veteran, Hudson will continue to serve as an executive vice president of Southern Company Gas and a member of the company’s Management Council, as well as retain responsibility for its Corporate Market Strategy organization.
“I am committed first and foremost to the customers and communities we serve,” said Hudson. “We have a tremendous team of experienced professionals, and I look forward to working with them to spur even greater development across our service territory. Together we will achieve Illinois’ clean energy goals while protecting our most vulnerable populations and maintaining access, choice and affordability.”
In his previous role as Southern Company Gas’ chief external and public affairs officer, Hudson had responsibility for the company’s external and regulatory affairs, customer operations, corporate communications, marketing, community relations, charitable foundation, economic development and environmental affairs functions.
Hudson’s team, working with other functional areas, is responsible for some of the most successful regulatory outcomes in the company’s history, enabling Southern Company gas to enhance safety, reliability and customer service across its footprint. Most recently, he led the development of two new departments, Sustainability & Innovation and Renewable Natural Gas, to support the company’s continued commitment to addressing climate change, reinforce the importance of natural gas in a sustainable energy future and advocate for balanced policies that enable the nation to economically reach net zero carbon emissions.
Under Hudson’s leadership, Southern Company Gas also transformed its customer engagement, philanthropic giving and community outreach efforts. As president of the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation, Hudson has recently guided $2.5 million to nonprofits providing COVID-19 relief, supported a $1 million donation to Morehouse School of Medicine’s efforts to create equity in healthcare and advanced social justice efforts through donations to the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Before joining Southern Company Gas, Hudson served as senior vice president of marketing and business development at Alabama Power, as well as Alabama Power’s vice president of public relations and charitable giving and the chief executive of the Alabama Power Foundation.
A passionate philanthropist dedicated to inspiring young entrepreneurs, Hudson is chairman of the board of directors of Bronze Valley Corporation, which he launched to expand the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem among people of color in the technology industry. For his work in this area of philanthropy, innovation and entrepreneurship, he was selected for the prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship, which brings together an exclusive group of diverse leaders across the United States to work on breakthrough ideas to build economic security for families across America.
Hudson received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Alabama A&M University and is a cum laude graduate of Miles College School of Law. He also completed the Executive Accounting and Finance Program at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Nyya, will reside in Chicago.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
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