Power Transitions at TVA

TVA CEO Bill Johnson holds the symbolic keys to the agency after receiving them from retiring CEO Tom Kilgore. Image courtesy TVA

TVA CEO Bill Johnson holds the symbolic keys to the agency after receiving them from retiring CEO Tom Kilgore. Image courtesy TVA

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.

Johnson’s first day was about like any one else’s, down to learning his way through security at the Knoxville headquarters.

“Try the badge, see if it works, alright.”

Johnson received the symbolic “keys to TVA” from outgoing CEO Tom Kilgore, who has been at the helm since the agency was restructured in 2005.

“I look forward to seeing you build this place to be even better.”

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 Johnson’s interests include – among other hobbies – gardening and baking bread.


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