Pacific Life Insurance Company says James T. Morris, 47, has assumed his duties as president and chief executive officer.

Morris, whose appointment was announced by the company’s board of directors in November, replaces Thomas C. Sutton, who will retire in June after 17 years as chairman and CEO. Sutton will continue as chairman of the board for Pacific Life, Newport Beach, Calif.

Morris, who had been the company’s chief operating officer, was also named to the boards of Pacific Mutual Holding Company, Pacific LifeCorp and Pacific Life Insurance Company. He is the 14th chief executive officer in the company’s 139-year history.