Bowman named president/CEO for energy cooperative


Jeff Bowman has been named as Cooperative Energy’s new chief administrative officer and president.

The announcement of the senior vice president’s promotion was announced by the Board of Directors.

Bowman will assume the role of chief executive officer in late 2019, upon the retirement of Cooperative Energy’s current President and CEO Jim Compton.

Bowman, 47, will be only the fourth person to serve as CEO in the in the company’s history. Cooperative Energy is a not-for-profit, member-owned generation and transmission cooperative that provides electricity to 55 counties throughout western and southern Mississippi.

“Serving as the president and CEO of a large, complex organization like Cooperative Energy is a challenging job,” said Louis Thompson, Cooperative Energy vice chairman and acting board chairman. “Jeff Bowman possesses the leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills necessary to succeed in this role. Cooperative Energy’s excellent management team and strong organizational leadership will provide him with a great foundation upon which to grow.

“Our Board of Directors has full confidence in Jeff Bowman as Jim Compton’s successor. Jim has been a progressive leader in our industry during his 15-year tenure, and we look forward to the same, ever-improving momentum from Jeff.”

Bowman, a Hattiesburg native, graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Bowman served as a captain on active duty in the United States Army and practiced law for 10 years in Hattiesburg, including eight years as the Cooperative Board’s outside counsel.

Bowman will succeed Compton, who became General Manager in May 2004 before ascending to President and CEO. Compton’s retirement in late 2019 occurs after an extensive career in the electric utility industry. Prior to becoming the third CEO of Cooperative Energy, he served as legal counsel for the Board of Directors of South Mississippi Electric Power Association (now Cooperative Energy) for 19 years, as an adviser for rural electric distribution cooperatives, and authored legislation to protect rural electric consumers.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have led Cooperative Energy through many trials and successes during my service as the company’s Board attorney and in my role as President and CEO,” said Compton. “These past 15 years have been the most rewarding of my career. I had the fortune to follow in the footsteps of two previous general managers who laid the foundation for our organization. Now, I have complete confidence in Jeff to carry on our mission to provide approximately one million Mississippians with affordable, reliable electricity.”