LONDON--AstraZeneca's Pete Digger is departing the company for a new role that aims to revitalise Good Relations' public affairs practice.

Digger has been named head of Good Relations Political, and leaves AstraZeneca after more than four years as head of government relations and external affairs in the UK.

"We intend to grow our political communications practice quickly and Pete has a record of commercial success in his previous agency experience," said Good Relations chairman Kevin Murray in a statement. "Combined with the insight he has gained in house, we believe it is a powerful offer to the market.“

Before joining AstraZeneca, Digger held senior roles at Burson Marsteller and DLA Piper.

"One of the things you learn quickly in house is what does and doesn’t work in terms of an agency offer," he said. "Good Relations is a great name in the industry and there’s a phenomenal opportunity to build on the existing client base given the strength of the team and the background of change in the public affairs market.”

The hire follows the completion of Bell Pottinger's MBO from Good Relations parent Chime Communications earlier this year.