Wells Fargo's regional president of Florida operations has been promoted to a national executive.

Shelley Freeman is now head of customer experience and strategic initiatives for Wells operations that serve consumers, small businesses and the wealthy, Wells Fargo spokeswoman Kathy Harrison said Tuesday. Freeman has overseen Wells' retail and business banking operations in Florida since 2009. She will continue in that role until a successor is found.

Since joining the $1.4 trillion-asset company in 1996, Freeman has held several management positions in its community banking, Internet services and private banking and brokerage administration divisions. She began her career at Lehman Brothers in the 1980s.

Freeman is also a prominent advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. She spoke with American Banker in May about the importance of creating safe and comfortable work environments for gay and lesbian employees.

"No one should be afraid to come to work every day as who they are, and no one should have to check who they are at the door," Freeman said. "That's why I came out when I came out at work, very early in my career."