WASHINGTON — Nestlé has elevated US comms head Lisa Knight Gibby to senior VP of corporate communications and public affairs.

Gibby, who assumed the role July 1, is leading the food and beverage giant’s global communications strategy, including media relations, corporate digital and content, public affairs and employee engagement. She reports to Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider.

Gibby’s predecessor, Eugenio Simioni, stepped down from the position after four-plus years to become head of Nestlé’s Swiss operation.

Josh Morton, who most recently led Nestle’s internal communications, has assumed Gibby’s former responsibilities leading US communications, which includes overseeing media relations, internal communications, corporate digital content and storytelling, executive communications, and issues and crisis communications.

Gibby has served as VP of corporate communications for Nestle’s US operations since 2014, as which she focused on enhancing Nestlé’s corporate social media presence and using digital storytelling to drive the company’s reputation, the company said.  Before that, she  was director of global communications of The One Campaign and held senior communications positions at AOL, HBO and Weber Shandwick.

“I’m excited to help Nestlé continue to evolve as a force for good during an intense time of transformation for the food industry and the company.  Purpose and values have never been more important, and we have the ability to deliver impact at a scale and pace that makes a difference,” Gibby said.

One of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, Nestle produces more than 2000 brands and is present in 187 countries worldwide.

Over the years, the Swiss multinational has weathered controversies, with critics panning the company for allegedly taking Michigan groundwater during the Flint water crisis  and aggressively pushing infant formula to Third World mothers during the 1970s.

More recently, however, the company has engaged in a number of CSR initiatives including donating 100,000 bottles of water to Flint residents, participating in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and rebranding its Red Skins and Chicos candies due to racial overtones.