Aflac brings on Blades for new corp comms SVP role

Aflac has hired Catherine Blades for the newly created position of SVP of corporate communications.

COLUMBUS, GA: Aflac has hired Catherine Blades for the newly created position of SVP of corporate communications.

Reporting to Aflac EVP of corporate services Audrey Boone-Tillman, Blades is responsible for defining, leading, and integrating Aflac's communications strategy and promoting internal and external communications.

She joined the company from Flextronics, where she was chief communications and marketing officer. Previously, Blades was VP of communications and public affairs in Raytheon's space and airborne systems business. She has also managed international and marketing communications at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and held other communications leadership positions.

Blades was not immediately available to comment on her appointment.

Her responsibilities were previously handled by Laura Kane, VP of corporate communications at Aflac. After 11 years in Aflac's Columbus, GA, office, Kane relocated to New York last month.

“I will still be doing the same things in terms of promoting the reputation of the company; I still have the same people reporting to me; and I still retain the same title,” said Kane, who will report to Blades. “I have relocated to New York, because New York is really where media relations happens.”

Kane previously reported to Boone-Tillman.

Aflac, which earns the majority of its revenue in Japan, reported a 31% drop in third-quarter earnings in October partially due to a weaker yen. US revenue was up 2.9% year-over-year in the period to $1.5 billion.

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