Avista CEO Scott Morris to retire early next year

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The chairman and chief executive officer of Spokane-based Avista Corp. says he will retire early next year.

Scott Morris informed the utility’s board of directors that he will retire effective March 1, according to a news release issued Monday.

Morris has been chairman and CEO since 2008.

He will serve as the executive chairman of the board of directors until his retirement date but will transition his duties as CEO to Dennis Vermillion, who was elected to replace Morris.

Vermillion is currently the company president. He will assume his new role Oct. 1.

In January, Avista announced an end to plans to sell itself to Canadian utility Hydro One Ltd., after regulators in Idaho and Washington denied the sale.