A new leadership structure and a new-and-improved Pavone Group
Pavone Group has announced new roles for its leadership team that will see company founder Michael Pavone transition to a singular focus as CEO, while agency partner John Bassounas is promoted to president. The moves are aimed at ushering in a new era of growth for an agency already in the midst of a recent boom of acquisitions and expansions.
In his newly defined CEO role, Pavone will not just manage growth, but accelerate it. He will oversee the expansion of Pavone Group and its portfolio of eight agencies and companies. That expansion will include acquisitions and the opportunistic founding of new companies within the group to meet the modern marketing needs of Pavone Group’s clients.
For Bassounas, the promotion is a logical next step in a Pavone Group career that started in 1999 as a Villanova graduate who flourished at the agency and quickly rose to the position of director of client service. Bassounas became a partner at Pavone Group in 2012.
“John’s new role is a strategic progression that has been years in the making. Over the past 25 years, his focus on client work and his management of our leadership team has led him to this moment and this position,” said Pavone Group CEO Michael Pavone. “We’re a fiercely independent holding company made up of agencies with deep vertices. Our independence allows us to chart our own path and make decisions and investments in order to compete nationally. This move is part of that plan.”
All three Pavone Group partners – Michael Pavone, Amy Murray and John Bassounas – have been with the agency since its earliest days. Pavone and Murray’s roots date back to 1992 when the agency was founded, while Bassounas joined in 1999. That collective tenure, in an industry where turnover is frequent, has created a stronger leadership team and guides the team’s long-term view for the agency.
“As an agency, we’re nearly 32 years old, and we’ve reached a size where we need to morph and adapt to get to the next level,” said Murray. “Having Michael and John in these distinct roles will ensure that we continue growing. We have big plans for the future, and this clarity around responsibilities will help us achieve our goals more quickly.”
Murray will work closely with Pavone and Bassounas in business development initiatives and will oversee the continued building of Pavone Group’s family of agency brands.
For Bassounas, the role as Pavone Group president will allow him to continue in a position focused on looking ahead and modernizing the agency’s offerings.
“Our industry is constantly changing. My focus will be on helping Pavone Group stay one step ahead of that change so that we can be better marketing partners for our clients,” said Bassounas. “When our clients win, we win, which is one more reason why we need to be at the forefront of identifying trends, building them into our strategies, and reflecting them in our creative ideation. That’s ultimately what’s going to move the needle for our clients.”
In the past five years, Pavone Group has acquired five agencies and opened new offices in Atlanta and New York to complement its offices in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa. The growth hasn’t gone unrecognized. In 2020, Pavone Group was named one of Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agencies. Varsity, Pavone Group’s senior marketing agency, was named to the same list in 2023.