CHARLOTTE — AT&T Inc. announced Thursday that North Carolina President Venessa Harrison will become the state president for Georgia, succeeding William Leahy who recently retired.

Harrison, a 38-year veteran of AT&T and its predecessor companies, has been serving as the AT&T North Carolina’s state president since 2013. She is the second consecutive black female to hold the leading position in the North Carolina operation.

Harrison’s appointment to her new position will take effect December 1.

“On one hand, I am excited about the opportunity to build on AT&T’s long history of investing in Georgia, helping create jobs and stimulating innovation in urban and rural communities across the state,” Harrison said in a statement.

“On the other, I see how bright North Carolina’s future is, with numerous opportunities ahead as AT&T continues to invest in innovative technologies — constantly evolving to address our customers’ needs.”

Harrison began her telecommunications career in 1979 as a telephone operator at Southern Bell in Raleigh. Before becoming the state president of AT&T-North Carolina, she worked as the regional vice president of External Affairs of AT&T North Carolina.

AT&T’s stock closed Thursday at $30.12, down 39 cents from the previous day’s close.

The announcement can be found here.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism