Verizon appointed Stacy Sharpe as EVP and chief communications officer (CCO) effective from 4 March when she succeeds long-time communications executive Jim Gerace.

Sharpe will join Verizon’s executive leadership team and report directly to chair and CEO Hans Vestberg. She will lead all aspects of global communications strategy including corporate, consumer and business.

The executive is currently SVP for corporate brand at insurance company Allstate.

Vestberg cited Sharpe’s depth of expertise in corporate affairs and communications on the Fortune 500 stage as key attributes to position Verizon “for the next chapter”.

Gerace is retiring after being CCO for almost 11 years, ending a 37-year career with Verizon and predecessor Bell Atlantic 

The operator stated he played a critical role in the formation of Verizon and the launch of its wireless services.