Federal utility’s CEO announces plans for retirement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The chief executive officer of the nation’s largest public utility has announced his plans to retire.

Bill Johnson of the Tennessee Valley Authority revealed his plans during a board meeting Wednesday in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Johnson joined the federal utility in 2013. He turns 65 in January.

TVA says it could take months while the board searches through internal or external candidates. Johnson will remain CEO while his successor is picked and trained to lead.

Johnson is the nation’s highest-paid federal employee. He was paid nearly $5 million in fiscal 2016, with a reported base salary of roughly $995,000. The board has said Johnson’s pay is still low compared to salaries of utility companies not in public service.

TVA powers nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.