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NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday announced that his director of communications, Alexia Poe, is leaving the administration Friday to become a private communications consultant.

Poe, 41, becomes the second top administration official to announce a departure. In a news release, the administration said a successor will be named at a later date.

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Alexia Poe

"Alexia has been an integral part of our senior team. She is a strategic thinker and savvy communicator who brings a lot of insight into policy, politics and how government works," Haslam said in his statement.

"I will miss her but wish her the best in starting her own business," he added.

This spring, Haslam Chief of Staff Mark Cate announced he will be leaving the administration later this summer.

As Haslam's top communications official, Poe has been a senior advisor and strategist to Haslam, cabinet, senior staff and state departments. She has also overseen crisis communications, external communications, internal communications and overall messaging for the administration.

"It has been great working for Bill Haslam and being part of his efforts to make Tennessee the best it can be," Poe said in the news release. "I look forward to cheering on this administration as it continues to move the needle on education, attracting and growing high-quality jobs, and making state government more efficient and effective in serving Tennessee taxpayers."

Poe's departure comes amid reports of friction in some administration quarters over the rocky rollout of Haslam's new state logo, which leaked out and was assailed by critics.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@ timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550.

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