A union has attacked Nottinghamshire County Council for creating a new £110,000-a-year post to oversee cutbacks and efficiency savings.
Unison said the decision to hire a highly-paid improvements officer was "entirely wrong".
Former DHL managing director Greg Michael will join the authority on a three-year contract in September.
The council said Mr Michael's business acumen is needed to help it save £150m in the next three years.
The county council has also said up to 3,000 jobs were at risk in the next three years as it attempts to slash costs.
Andy Belfield from Unison said the decision to hire a highly paid consultant means the council "have their priorities the wrong way round".
"We think they have got it entirely wrong - they are going to spend £50m on redundancy payments and get rid of 3,000 people and now they are spending a £330,000 on one person," he said.
County council chief executive Mick Burrows said: "We have an unprecedented financial challenge ahead of us. We need to find £150m over the next three years.
"Greg is a big hitter and his extensive commercial experience will be invaluable."
He added that Mr Michael's business acumen will be used to help save money on contracts with the council's suppliers of goods and services.