6. Thomas Fanning

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Energy, Business
Age 58
As president and CEO of Atlanta-based Southern Company, Fanning faces delays and cost overruns with two high-profile projects: the Plant Vogtle nuclear facility near Augusta and a coal gasification plant in Mississippi. Still, Southern Co. tallies annual profits of more than $1 billion and has allies among lawmakers and utility regulators. In August, Southern Co. agreed to buy natural gas provider AGL Resources, which would create a mega-utility.

Partly cloudy on Solar Georgia Power, Southern Co.’s local subsidiary, launched a rooftop solar installation business in July, but don’t count Fanning among the converted. “I think there’s lots more sensible things than putting a panel on a rooftop,” he said recently.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.