After eight years leading Worcester, city manager Edward Augustus will step down. His last day will be May 31.

In an interview with GBH News, Augustus said he’s been thinking about leaving the position for a while. He said he’s proud of his tenure as city manager and is ready for someone new to guide the city forward.

“Eight-and-a-half years is a long time in jobs like this, and it’s been a very busy and consequential eight-and-a-half years,” he said. “This seemed like the right time.”

In a statement, Mayor Joseph Petty thanked Augustus for his service and said the city will start a “fair, equitable and transparent” search process in the coming months for a new city manager.

“It has been my distinct pleasure to serve with Ed Augustus over the last eight years and I am truly grateful that he chose to serve our city as manager,” Petty said. “Ed has left his thumbprint on our city in so many ways and his intellect, acumen, and experience will be missed.”

Augustus said he considered stepping down around the end of last year but concluded that wasn’t a good time, as COVID-19 cases were once again spiking across the city due to the omicron variant.

With cases at their lowest point since last summer, Augustus said he felt more comfortable announcing the decision now. He said he looks forward to deciding what he will do next.

“It seemed like a natural kind of opportunity to let [City] Council know my intentions,” he said.

Augustus became city manager after serving in the state Senate for two terms. He also was a chief of staff for U.S Rep. James McGovern of Massachusetts' 2nd District and served on the Worcester School Committee.

In a statement announcing his decision, Augustus noted that he helped guide the city through the pandemic and has overseen investments in city programs and park infrastructure. He oversaw the development of a new elementary school and two high schools.

“I think the city is in a really good spot,” he told GBH News. “Our population is increasing. People are investing here ... and we want to just keep it moving forward.”

Still, Augustus acknowledged that more work is necessary to fulfill his 2021 executive order aimed at dismantling structural racism.

With his announcement, there’s a possibility that Worcester loses both of its top leaders this year. Petty announced earlier in March he will run for state Senate.