The Shepherd family will now start the search for what will be its third construction chief executive since Vaughan Burnand left in 2008.
He is understood to have resigned after discussions with the family although Shepherd would only confirm his departure a few weeks ago.
Vining replaced previous chief executive Allan McDougall in October 2010 when he was promoted from his role as head of the south division.
He was instrumental in establishing the firm’s new London office last year.
Mark Perkins, chief executive of Shepherd Group Built Environment Division will head up Shepherd Construction’s executive board until further notice.
He said: “Richard leaves with our thanks for having been part of the team that has worked hard to help develop our construction activities over the last 18 months.
“Shepherd Construction has made great progress and the company’s profitability and resilience is proving strong in the current economic climate.
“We will continue our strategy to improve this further as we look to grow the business and diversify into new sectors.”