The move is part of a group-level cost-cutting restructure that will shed 850 jobs and could include several head office comms positions.
Lewis, who was MD Europe, won the battle for the top job over Naylor under the judgement of chief executive Sir Roy Gardner.
He will have direct reports responsible for media relations, investor relations, CSR, PA and internal comms as well as a head of diversity. The PR heads of Centrica’s constituent businesses British Gas, The AA and One.Tel also report to him.
Lewis said: ‘This [structure] ensures we operate as an integrated whole. We will have a stronger public-policy focus and be more international in our approach.’
Centrica has seven million customers in North America, Spain and Belgium through a number of joint ventures.
The group continues to retain Finsbury for IR.
Lewis, a previous director of corporate affairs at NatWest Group, was seconded to Buckingham Palace between 1998 to 2000 to be the first communications secretary to the Queen. He joined Centrica in 1997 as corporate affairs director.
Lewis has also been confirmed as the next president of Eurogas, the Brussels-based pan-European trade association, on a two-year term.
Naylor leaves after five and a half years at Centrica without a job to go to.