A source at the network said he was leaving to take a year out and spend more time with his family. He said Austin would not be replaced and that some of his duties would be taken by EMEA chief executive Mel Varley.
Austin was promoted to the role from chairman and chief executive of Mediaedge:cia Asia Pacific in May 2004. At the time, bosses at rival agencies questioned whether he would find it hard adapting to European agency culture after eight years in Asia.
Austin took on his former Asia Pacific role in 2001, when WPP acquired Tempus. He drove the merger of The Media Edge and CIA and launched Mediaedge:cia in the region.
He was previously chief executive of Tempus Asia Pacific, having managed CIA's joint venture in Singapore.