AUCKLAND--Andrew Pirie has departed the consultancy he helped found earlier this year for a top comms position at Telecom New Zealand.

Former Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific CEO Pirie co-founded Boag Allan Pirie with New Zealand PR veterans Michelle Boag and Cedric Allan at the start of 2012.

After less than a year he has opted to leave to become head of communications at Telecom New Zealand, considered one of the country's plum PR roles.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed working with my partners, Michelle Boag and Cedric Allan, but opportunities like Telecom don't come along often and I felt it was something I had to take up," said Pirie in an email.  "Michelle and Cedric have both been very understanding and supportive of my decision."

At Telecom New Zealand, Pirie will head a team responsible for external media, internal communications, government relations and community relations. 

"This is a great opportunity to work at a senior level in New Zealand's largest listed company, which is set to move forward strongly under new CEO Simon Moutter," he added.

Pirie departed Weber Shandwick in 2008, returning from Singapore to New Zealand to consult for a range of clients, including Auckland Airport, where Moutter was previously CEO.

Pirie's move comes as New Zealand's telcos look to exploit the opportunities presented by the goverment-subsidised rollout of a high-speed broadband network.