LONDON—Shell has named company veteran Mike Napier as its global communications head, filling the vacancy left by the departure of Herbert Heitmann.

Napier will become EVP of external communications at Shell at the start of next year, after serving as group head of real estate at the energy giant.

All told, Napier has spent 22 years at Shell in a variety of roles, spanning procurement, commercial and leadership, across all of the company's major lines of business, in eight different countries.

Napier's specific communications experience remains unclear. A Shell spokeman confirmed the appointment, but declined to provide further details.

Napier will continue reporting  to chief  human resources and corporate officer Hugh Mitchell, whose responsibilities also include internal and external communications.