CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Longtime American Electric Power employee Nicholas Akins has been named chairman of the board, effective January 1.American Electric Power Board of Directors elected Akins to the position Tuesday. Akins currently serves as the company's president and chief executive officer.Akins, 53, was named AEP president in January 2011 and named CEO in November 2011, following Michael Morris's retirement. Morris served as a former company chairman, president and CEO.
Morris is stepping down as non-executive chairman of the AEP board at the end of the year but plans to remain a member of the board until AEP's next annual meeting of shareholders in April 2014.Akins, a Louisiana native, has worked for the company for 31 years. Before being named president and CEO, he served as executive vice president. He received his bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech."Nick has done an outstanding job as chief executive officer over the past two years," Thomas Hoaglin, AEP's lead director and chair of the board's committee on directors and Corporate governance, said in a news release. "The members of the AEP Board of Directors have the highest confidence in his ability to continue to lead AEP and to assume this expanded leadership role."