The Scottish Government's head of communications, Andrew Baird, is leaving to join PR and digital media agency The Big Partnership as a director in its Edinburgh office.
Baird has been head of communications at the Scottish Government since 2010 and was previously head of news.
His background in government communications stretches back to 1987, he led the devolution communications team in 1997 and became the first official spokesperson for the First Minister in 2001.
Big's co-founder Neil Gibson said: "Andrew is one of Scotland’s most respected and experienced communications professionals and his appointment will augment our strategy development and issues management capability.
"He’ll also work closely with the head of our Edinburgh office, Nicki Sturzaker, to grow our business in the capital."
In a statement Big said Baird would play a key role in developing its strategic communications and issues management offering.
He said of his new role: "Working in Government is tremendously rewarding but after nine years in senior communications positions within the Scottish Government, I am keen to take my career in a new direction.
"It has been a huge privilege to lead such a talented team which is in good shape to go from strength to strength. I am looking forward to joining Big and playing a full part in the agency's business development plans.”