LONDON — Corporate and public affairs agency Hanover has shaken up its senior leadership structure, as founder and CEO Charles Lewington steps up into a new role as executive chairman of the group.

Lewington (pictured, left), who founded the 200-strong agency in 1998 after a high-profile career in political communications and journalism, will continue to report to Jean-Pierre Vasseur, president and CEO of Avenir Global, the Canadian holding company that bought Hanover in 2019.

In his new role, Lewington will focus on major client engagement, delivery of the strategic growth plan, and expansion into new markets globally. He will also chair the Hanover Group Leadership Board.

At the same time, Gavin Megaw (pictured, centre), who joined the agency in 2011 to build the agency’s corporate communications practice, will become president and managing director of the Hanover Group, reporting to Lewington.

Megaw will be responsible for all day-to-day operations, accountable for revenue growth, budgets, staffing, internal communications, customer service, and deeper integration of the group’s service lines.

Hanover’s financial director, Ian Chapman (pictured, right), also expands his remit after a decade of growth at the firm – which last year had fee income of £27 million – to become CFO and operations director for EMEA at Avenir Global, working across the holding company’s four European brands: AXON, Cherry, Hanover and Madano.

Vasseur said: “Over the past 25 years, Charles has led Hanover to achieve true trusted advisor status. Since our acquisition of the agency in 2019, Charles and I have developed a great relationship of mutual trust and shared ambition, working closely to generate growth across the group. I have great respect for Charles, Hanover, its team, and its clients and I am looking forward to continuing our work together to strengthen our position as a global powerhouse of specialist communications firms.”

Lewington, who was recently named as one of the recipients of the PRovoke Media SABRE award for outstanding individual achievement, said: “Gavin has been at my right hand for the past 12 years and has the energy and vision to drive Hanover to even greater heights of performance. Hanover has an ambitious five-year plan to grow revenue and profitability through integrated service line development and market diversification. Gavin has all requisite leadership skills to help make that happen.”

Megaw added: “Hanover is an awesome business. We have a much-envied roster of clients in healthcare, technology, financial services, media, and sport. I can’t wait to work with the team and take Hanover on the next stage of its extraordinary journey.”

Avenir Global also owns Canada’s National Public Relations, and, in the US, Shift Communications and Padilla, which includes brand consultancy Joe Smith and food and nutrition specialist FoodMinds. Hanover has offices in London, Brussels, Dublin, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, and the Hanover Group also includes creative communications agency The Playbook.