Billy Thornton serves as Mississippi Power's vice president of External Affairs and Shared Services, joining the company's Management Council in October 2012.
He is responsible for oversight of several departments, including Governmental and Community Affairs, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, Corporate Communications, General Services, Corporate and Foundation Giving, Supply Chain and Technology Organization.
Previously, Thornton has served as External Affairs director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs director, Marketing director, and assistant to the vice president of External Affairs and Corporate Services.
He began his career with the company in 1982 as a power system coordination specialist and later progressed through multiple positions in residential and commercial marketing.
In 1988, Thornton received the opportunity to work in Congress as executive assistant to U.S. Congressman Larkin Smith, R-Mississippi, until the Congressman's death in 1989.
He earned a bachelor's degree in administration and personnel management from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also graduated from Emory University's Goizueta Business School's executive master's program.
Thornton is a graduate of Leadership Mississippi and the Masters Leadership Program Gulf Coast. He is the chair of the Harrison County Development Commission and serves on the boards of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Museum, Mississippi Manufacturers Association, Mississippi Energy Institute, Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi and the National Oceans and Applications Research Center (NORAC) as an appointee of the governor. He has also served on the board for the United Way of South Mississippi.