Grayling's Murphy to step down from CEO role

LONDON: Grayling CEO Michael Murphy will step down from his role as soon as a successor can be found, parent company Huntsworth said Thursday.

LONDON: Grayling CEO Michael Murphy will step down from his role as soon as a successor can be found, parent company Huntsworth said Thursday.

Murphy will resign as the agency's chief executive “to concentrate on building a portfolio career,” the UK-based holding company said in a statement.

Huntsworth named Murphy non-executive chairman on Thursday in addition to CEO until a replacement is found. At that point, he will remain a non-executive chairman on a part-time basis.  

Huntsworth CEO Peter Chadlington said in a statement that the company has “recently appointed headhunters, but it is unlikely that the new CEO will be in post until sometime in 2013.” He said Murphy was a “central architect of the strategy to merge many of our businesses together to form a single brand and attract larger, multi-office clients.”

Murphy previously served as CEO of Trimedia, which was merged into Grayling, from 2004 to 2009. He was also deputy CEO of Shandwick.

After merging its various firms into the Grayling network in 2010, the agency reported $100 million to $150 million in global revenue in 2011, the majority of that overseas. It has 14 offices in 11 cities in North America.

Grayling named Chris Boehlke CEO of its North American PR operations in March, leading its teams in New York, Washington, San Francisco, and Sacramento, CA. Boehlke joined Grayling when Huntsworth acquired her company, Connecting Point, in 2009.

Murphy's resignation is the third CEO change announced at a major agency in the past month. Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman will step down at the end of July, replaced by Michael Ramah on an acting basis. Rob Flaherty replaced Ray Kotcher as Ketchum's chief executive on Monday, with Kotcher transitioning to chairman.

Murphy declined additional comment on the move.

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