Corporate move: Paul Howes.

Corporate move: Paul Howes. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Former union boss Paul Howes has been appointed as a director at professional services business KPMG.

Mr Howes will take on a role as a consultant in business transformation, transaction services and superannuation, after recently finishing up as national secretary of the Australian Workers Union.

Once seen as a rising star in the Labor party, Mr Howes said he believed KPMG was the right opportunity for his career after ending his seven-year reign as head of the AWU.

“The firm has offered me a diverse role, with a great opportunity to use my skills and experiences in a different way, working with highly talented teams,” he said.

“I am very much looking forward to my new career, where I hope to use my experience to help organisations grow and be successful.”

Mr Howes announced earlier this year that he was giving up the high-profile role he took over from opposition leader Bill Shorten in 2007.

There was speculation at the time he would seek out a job in the corporate sector.

KPMG head of advisory John Somerville said Mr Howes was one of Australia’s top industry talents who would bring insights on “motivating workforces”, as well as experience in the superannuation sector.

“As the transactions market heats up and margins for error are thin, specialist consideration of people and workplace issues are critical for successful integrations,” he said.

Mr Howes has given up other directorships, including his role as deputy chair of AustralianSuper, but will retain his place on the board of mental health organisation beyondblue.

He will begin the role at KPMG later this month.