Kennedy's decision comes just months after Grayling parent company Huntsworth embarked on an integration of the agency with sister PR brands Trimedia and Mmd. As part of the merger, Trimedia CEO Michael Murphy became Grayling CEO, with Kennedy taking on the deputy chairman role.
In 2004 Kennedy led a management buy-out (MBO) of Grayling from previous parent company Havas, which led to Huntsworth acquiring the majority of the agency. His departure coincides with the end of the buy-out, with Hunstworth due to acquire the remaining shares from the relevant Grayling managers - including Kennedy - by the end of the year.
'I've seen Grayling through three parent companies, one MBO, two to three recessions,' Kennedy told PRWeek. 'It is about to embark on a new journey, a good one and exciting one. I've just felt it's time to step down.'
In an internal email to senior executives, Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington said: 'Now that Grayling has been merged with Trimedia and Mmd, Nigel has decided it is time for a well-deserved break before seeking new challenges.'