Scott Morris To Retire As Avista CEO

May 13, 2019

Scott Morris will leave as Avista CEO in October, but stay on with the company until next spring.
Credit Avista

Scott Morris, Avista’s chief executive officer, is retiring from the company, effective next spring. He will be replaced as CEO on October 1 by Avista’s president, Dennis Vermillion.

Scott Morris joined Avista in 1981 and served several roles in the company’s service area in Spokane, Idaho and Oregon. In 2000, he was named president of Avista Utilities. Six years later, he took over as president and chief operating officer. In 2008, he became CEO and chairman.

Morris led the company as it expanded to Alaska, acquiring Alaska Electric Power and Light in 2014. He was also at the helm when Avista agreed to be acquired by Ontario-based Hydro One. The process of securing approval for that deal was moving smoothly, until a leadership change in Ontario led to the firing of Hydro One’s CEO and board of directors. Regulators in Washington vetoed the merger, saying it wasn’t in the best interests of Avista’s customers and ultimately, the deal was scrapped.

Morris has been active in the community, serving on state boards and in business-related leadership positions. He helped to create the Avista Foundation and he was active in expanding medical education in Spokane.

For the last five months of his time at Avista, after Vermillion takes over as CEO, Morris will serve as executive chairman of the company’s board of directors.

 

Avista announced today [Monday] that Scott Morris, its chief executive officer, is retiring from the company, effective next spring. He will be replaced as CEO on October 1 by Avista’s president, Dennis Vermillion.

For the last five months of his time at Avista, Morris will serve as executive chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Morris joined Avista in 1981 and served several roles in the company’s service area in Spokane, Idaho and Oregon. In 2000, he was named president of Avista Utilities. Six years later, he was named president and chief operating officer. In 2008, he became CEO and chairman.

Morris led the company as it acquired Alaska Electric Power and Light in 2014. He was also at the helm when Avista entered into an agreement with Ontario-based Hydro One to be acquired by the Canadian company. That deal ultimately fell through after leadership of Ontario changed and regulators decided it wasn’t in the best interests of Avista’s customers.