De Luca informed staff at the company last week that he has elected to take a break - a few months off to catch his breath after years of running the public affairs firm. Industry rumours that the gregarious American was to leave his post for a role somewhere else in the Grey empire - doing the rounds for much of the last six months - are flatly denied by the man himself.
'It's bull. I've been working too hard for too long and need a break.
I'm going to travel around Europe then head to Florida for a while, perhaps teach myself to fish,' he says.
Running the show in his absence appears to be an assortment of APCO's senior staff headed by long-time de Luca associate and senior director Martin Sawer.
Contacted in New York on the first leg of his extensive foreign jolly, De Luca insisted he remains committed to the Washington-based consultancy, and has no plans to abandon its New Cavendish Street base for the more relaxing lifestyle of the Sunshine state: 'I'll be back in the New Year - you'll see' he says.
As indeed we will...