Internet service provider iiNet has confirmed the departure of its customer service general manager Paul Cahill after nine years with the company.
A spokesman said Cahill had left the company to move to the "east coast" after posting a job ad for his replacement.
It is believed the company had gone without Cahill in the customer management seat for the greater part of the past month after his sudden departure.
Sources said Cahill had been headhunted specifically by Telstra chief executive David Thodey for an unspecified customer relations position.
A Telstra spokesman was unable to confirm the hire by the time of publication.
It is unlikely Cahill will move to a lateral position at the incumbent telco, which only last month created a Chief Customer Officer position in hopes of renewing a focus on customer service.
Gordon Ballantyne, group managing director of Telstra Consumer and Country Wide, was appointed to the role.
Cahill has been credited with much of iiNet's customer-oriented strategies over the past several years. Last year he fronted a new campaign calling for the telco industry to raise service levels.
"We are gaining most of our new customers now through churn, and many of these new converts are moving because of a poor experience at another provider," Cahill said in a statement at the time.
"It is easy to see who the leaders are and who is falling behind. Last year we saw a drop in complaints and we work hard to ensure the numbers improve year on year."