SINGAPORE--Microsoft's Josie Taylor is departing the company after one year as head of its Asia-Pacific corporate communications function, to join BHP Billiton.

The development means that Microsoft is again searching for a candidate to fill the position, 12 months after the departure of previous corporate comms head Stephen Forshaw

Taylor, who previously served as commercial and analyst relations lead, eventually took on the role after assuming interim leadership upon Forshaw's departure. She ends her four-year Microsoft career to return to her native Australia, assuming a senior comms position at mining giant BHP Billiton.

Both Taylor and Frank Shaw, Microsoft's corporate VP of corporate communications, confirmed the news."We're in the process of hiring her successor for this key leadership role in Microsoft's communications team," said Shaw.

It is understood that Microsoft consumer PR head Lena Goh is handling interim leadership duties.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Taylor spent eight years at Intel. She joins BHP Billiton as the Anglo-Australian company, the world's biggest mining player by market value, steps up ambitious expansion plans.