The new year means a new CEO for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Bill Johnson takes over the $11 billion public utility after being hired in November.
Johnsonâ€™s first day was about like any one elseâ€™s, down to learning his way through security at the Knoxville headquarters.
â€śTry the badge, see if it works, alright.â€ť
Johnson received the symbolic â€śkeys to TVAâ€ť from outgoing CEO Tom Kilgore, who has been at the helm since the agency was restructured in 2005.
â€śI look forward to seeing you build this place to be even better.â€ť
Kilgore has been praised for making TVA less coal dependent. But his tenure is also clouded by one of the worst coal ash spills in history and cost overruns at a nuclear construction project.
Johnson comes to the job from the private sector and out of the gate becomes one of the highest paid federal employees, making nearly $4 million a year.
A statement from TVA says he and his wife have moved to Knoxville and that Johnsonâ€™s interests include â€“ among other hobbies â€“ gardening and baking bread.