Murphy, who will stay in his role until a successor is found, wants to leave to ‘concentrate on building a portfolio career’.
As part of the announcement, Grayling revealed that Murphy will move to a part-time, non-executive Chairman role, when the new CEO is in place.
Peter Chadlington, Huntsworth’s CEO said: ‘Michael has decided that it’s the right time for him to develop a portfolio of interests. I am delighted that he will remain with Grayling as non-executive Chairman once a successor has been found, ensuring that the heritage and values which he has created will be carried forward and built upon by his successor. We have recently appointed head hunters but it is unlikely that the new CEO will be in post until sometime in 2013.’
Murphy joined in January 2009 having been CEO of Trimedia International, which merged with Mmd and Grayling to create the Grayling of today.
His career has spanned more than three decades, including time at Weber Shandwick during the 90s.
During this period he rose from head of the agency's Hong Kong office to become deputy CEO.
Murphy added: ‘I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in Grayling over the past two and a half years since it became a global company. I want to continue to support the business, our clients and my colleagues but I also feel that the time is right to develop other interests which play to my many decades of international experience. I look forward to handing the baton over to my successor and to supporting him or her in the future.’