Retirement of TVA’s Bill Johnson Presents Opportunity to Put “Public” Back in Public Power

November 14, 2018
Contact: Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]

Knoxville, TN – At today’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting in Tupelo, Mississippi, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced that its CEO, Bill Johnson, will retire in the first quarter of 2019 following a search for his successor. Johnson is the highest paid U.S. federal employee with annual compensation totaling more than $6.5 million.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s executive director Dr. Stephen A. Smith issued this statement in response to today’s announcement:

“For the last six years, Bill Johnson has steered TVA in the direction of serving corporate interests over public interests, evident in preferential rates and rate restructuring for corporate customers which have caused residential and small businesses’ energy bills to rise. TVA has primarily been focused on serving large corporations’ interest in renewable energy, leaving behind small businesses and households that also want to take advantage of this cleaner, more independent energy choice. And TVA has been consistently opaque, hiding details about policy decisions from public scrutiny and being less transparent, as we saw with this week’s so-called listening session which was neither web-streamed nor held the same day as the board meeting itself.

We believe it is imperative for the Board to appoint a successor with a demonstrated commitment to and interest in public power values.”


Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at