Gurr is set to leave his post at the end of the year to take a policy-focused role. The recruitment process for his successor has been limited to Whitehall, but it has been suggested that the role may be handed to a defence insider rather than a Whitehall comms director from another department.
Luther Pendragon partner Mike Granatt said: 'This job is at the seething confluence of the policymaking, political, and armed service cultures in one of Whitehall's most complex and insular departments.
'That's why the MoD has a long, but not unbroken, tradition of appointing lifelong mainstream officials who "understand defence".'
He added: 'If outsiders do apply, bet on the ex-MoD person who wants to come home.'
James Clark, former MoD director of news, paid tribute to Gurr's work overseeing comms for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
'Nick has done a fantastic job during a period that would have defeated many more seasoned comms professionals,' said Clark, who is now director of comms at Oxfordshire County Council. 'Whoever follows him will have an equally hard task, although a different one ... set against declining budgets.'