Avista CEO Scott Morris leaves his post

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost 12 years in the position
  • Accolades and praise for Morris
  • Dennis Vermillion taking over
  • Morris will remain as chairman at Avista
  • Morris spoke at length and said 177 words

(exechange) — Spokane, Washington, May 13, 2019 — Scott Morris, chief executive of Avista, leaves the position. As announced by Avista Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, May 13, 2019, Scott L. Morris leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the energy company after almost 12 years in the role, effective October 1, 2019.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 7.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 29 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 10 years.

Morris leaves the company effective March 1, 2020.

Scott Morris’s duties will be taken over by Dennis P. Vermillion, currently President of Avista Corp.

“Succession planning”

Scott Morris’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Morris said: “We have been diligent and deliberate in the succession planning for our company over the years.”

Morris will remain as chairman at Avista

“Morris will serve as the executive chairman of the board of directors until his retirement date, but will transition his duties as CEO to Avista President Dennis P. Vermillion, who was elected CEO by the company’s board of directors, effective Oct. 1, 2019. Morris will serve as the non-executive chairman of the board following his retirement. Vermillion will continue to serve on Avista’s board of directors,” Avista said.


Avista said: “Avista Corp. … Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Scott L. Morris announced to the company’s board of directors that he will retire from the company effective March 1, 2020.”

Avista further said: “On May 10, 2019, Scott L. Morris, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Avista Corporation …, announced to the Company’s board of directors, that he will retire from the Company effective March 1, 2020.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Avista Corp.’s share price of 16 percent since December 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2008

Morris has been Chairman and CEO of the Company since January 2008.

From January 2008 to January 2018 he also served as the Company’s President.

From May 2006 to December 2007, he served as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer (“COO”).

Morris also serves as chair of many of the Company’s subsidiaries, including having served as chair of the Ecova board until its sale on June 30, 2014.

Morris has been with the Company since 1981 and his experience includes management positions in construction and customer service and general manager of the Company’s Oregon utility business.

He was elected as a vice president in November 2000 and in February 2002 he was elected as a senior vice president.

He is a graduate of Gonzaga University and received his master’s degree from Gonzaga University in organizational leadership.

He also attended the Stanford Business School Financial Management Program and the Kidder Peabody School of Financial Management.

Morris serves on the boards of the Washington Roundtable, Edison Electric Institute and McKinstry and is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Gonzaga University.

He has served on a number of Spokane nonprofit and economic development Boards. Morris has extensive utility experience having spent his entire career in the industry.

He has experience leading a number of economic development and business association boards.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Avista and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 20.2019 ($).