PRWeek understands that the former KPMG consultant left the local authority two weeks ago without a job to go to. Masters was in the role for around 18 months.
‘We do not know where he has gone. It was fairly sudden and he said he had various options to consider. It was a mutual agreement,' a spokeswoman said.
Masters - who was unavailable for comment - did not cite personal reasons for his departure, according to the council.
The move leaves senior press officer Alan Stone at the helm of media relations issues, with director of environmental services Jenny Rowland in acting charge of the council's comms.
Director of cultural services Tony Miller, who has overall responsibility for comms, is away on long-term sick leave. On an interim basis, responsibility for the web team has been shifted to the council's IT department.
‘A decision on whether to replace Masters will be taken by the chief executive,' a spokesman said.
The council, whose main offices are in Hove, is run by chief executive Alan McCarthy. Like other authorities, the council is facing local elections next May.
Prior to Masters the council's head of comms was Diana Barnett, who left to return to her native Canada (PRWeek, 29 April 2005).