In a statement, McPherson said: "I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.”
No replacement was named. The company said one will be announced shortly. But multiple reports suggested that Paul Lee, president of ABC Family was set to take over.
ABC had mostly improving years at the network, pushing it up from last place among all network in the key adults 18-49 viewers -- but not quite to the number one position. He had been responsible for big-rated shows -- "Desperate Housewives", "Grey's Anatomy," and "Lost." In addition, to ABC primetime lineup, McPherson oversaw its sister company ABC Studios.
Always outspoken, McPherson had no problem jousting with other network executives -- including former NBC Entertainment chief, Ben Silverman.
The news comes as the nation's TV critics are about to gather at the annual summer suggested at the Television Critics Association meeting in Beverly Hills.
Last year ABC came in third place among all networks in total viewers, and a tie with NBC for third place among key adults 18-49 viewers.