Billy Thornton was named Mississippi Power’s vice president of External Affairs in October 2012.
Previously, Thornton served as External Affairs director, Marketing energy sales and efficiency director, major account sales manager, Regulatory and Federal Legislative Affairs director and assistant to the vice president of External Affairs and Corporate Services.
From 1986-1988, Thornton was a national sales consultant with Southern Electric International, a subsidiary of Southern Company.
He received a sabbatical from Mississippi Power in 1988 to serve as executive assistant to U.S. Congressman Larkin Smith, R-Mississippi, until the Congressman’s death in 1989.
Thornton began his career with the company in 1982 as a power system coordination specialist, later taking a position as a residential and commercial marketing representative.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in administration and personnel management from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is also a graduate of Leadership Mississippi and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School’s executive master’s program.
Thornton serves on the board of directors for the United Way of South Mississippi, as well as the boards of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the National Oceans and Applications Research Center (NORAC).
He is married to the former Sylvia Tollison of Gulfport.