Simkins to step down as Washington Companies CEO after 21 years

Larry Simkins, who has led the Missoula-based Washington Companies as its president and chief executive officer through more than two decades of dramatic expansion and operational success, will retire, the company announced Tuesday.

Simkins, a native of Helena and a University of Montana alum, has spent 21 years at the helm of the Washington Companies.

“I want to personally thank (Simkins) for his dedication, leadership and friendship over the years. He has been critical to the success of The Washington Companies throughout his tenure as he worked to successfully diversify our businesses, expand our footprint and develop strong leadership teams that will oversee the success of these companies for multiple generations,” owner Dennis Washington said. “I am grateful for his partnership and … wish him well in the future.”

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Simkins will be succeeded by Mark Lamarre, currently CEO of Seaspan Shipyards, one of the Washington Companies. Lamarre will also replace Simkins on the Washington Companies board.

Simkins took over the leadership of the company on the eve of 9/11. He has worked for the company since 1988, when he was hired as its first internal auditor. From there, he would

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