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Atmos Names Johnson to Lead Nonregulated Operations

Atmos Energy said it has named Mark H. Johnson, 46, as senior vice president of nonutility operations and president of Atmos Energy Holdings, the parent company of Atmos' nonutility operations. He will continue serving as president of Atmos Energy Marketing LLC. Johnson is replacing JD Woodward, who is retiring.

Woodward is the founder of Amos Energy Marketing's predecessor company, Woodward Marketing, which was acquired by Atmos through its purchase of United Cities Gas in 1997 and through a purchase of the remainder of the company in April 2001. In October 2003, Woodward Marketing LLC was renamed Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC. Under Woodward's leadership, Atmos Energy's nonutility operations, which are based in Houston, reported net income of $55 million in 2005. Johnson currently is vice president of nonutility operations at Atmos. In his new position, he will oversee 130 employees in 22 states.

"Atmos Energy has enjoyed tremendous growth in our natural gas marketing and other related nonutility businesses, and Mark Johnson has been involved in many of the key decisions," said Atmos Chairman Robert W. Best.

"JD Woodward's wise counsel and keen business sense have been extremely valuable to Atmos Energy over the past nine years," added Best. "JD has been a leader across our entire enterprise. He is an astute businessman, but more importantly, he is an outstanding person and a close friend. We will miss him and we wish him all the best in his retirement."

Johnson previously served as executive vice president of Atmos Energy Marketing, with responsibilities for its natural gas trading and marketing operations. He joined Atmos Energy Marketing's predecessor, Woodward Marketing LLC, in 1992 as vice president of marketing and operations and was later promoted to senior vice president of marketing for the Midwest and Gulf Coast. He was named executive vice president of commercial operations in 2003. Johnson holds a bachelor of sciences degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dallas-based Atmos is the country's largest natural gas-only distributor, serving about 3.2 million gas utility customers in 12 states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy's nonutility operations, organized under Atmos Energy Holdings, operate in 22 states, providing gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers and managing company-owned natural gas storage and pipeline assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipelines in Texas.

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