Boston 2024’s got a new leader

Steve Pagliuca is the new chairman of Boston 2024.
Steve Pagliuca is the new chairman of Boston 2024. –The Boston Globe

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Boston 2024 has a new leader: Steve Pagliuca. The Celtics co-owner, former Democratic candidate for Senate, and Bain Capital executive is taking the position of chairman for the Olympic bidding group.

Pagliuca had been a vice chairman of Boston 2024’s board since February, and has been involved with the bid for more than a year. He replaces John Fish, the CEO of Suffolk Construction. Fish, who has led the bid since 2013, will become a vice chairman.

Larry Lucchino, CEO of the Boston Red Sox, and local business heavyweight Jack Connors, who founded the advertising agency Hill Holliday, also joined the group as senior advisors Thursday. Northeastern University athletic director Peter Roby joined as another vice chair.


The changes were first reported to be in the works by The Boston Globe earlier this month.

In a phone interview with, Pagliuca said Boston 2024’s priority is to put out a new version of its plan for the public next month, an intention it announced last week.

The plan will include details about how the proposed Olympic stadium in South Boston and athletes’ village in Dorchester will work, as well as a detailed look at the bid’s budget and revenue that goes deeper than the financial strategy it published earlier this year, Pagliuca said.

He said the financial analysis would also be looked at by representatives of Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh, and is intended to be “objective.’’ “It is not a selling document,’’ Pagliuca said. It will take three to four weeks for the plan to be ready, but “the faster we can be, the better,’’ he said.

Whether the swap will have any effect on how Boston 2024 operates, or on the public perception of the bid, remains to be seen. In a statement, opposition group No Boston Olympics said it does not expect a personnel change to make a difference. “The public’s opposition to Boston 2024 is about the bid itself, not about who is calling the shots,’’ the statement said.


The change comes as Boston’s Olympic bid faces serious challenges. It has to this point failed to capture public support. And questions have persisted as to whether the United States Olympic Committee will put the bid to the International Olympic Committee if support does not rise.

The leadership change was discussed in a conference call with USOC officials nearly two weeks ago, the Globe reported at the time. The report said the USOC had become “agitated’’ with Boston 2024’s lack of progress.

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement Thursday that he “look[s] forward to working closely with Mayor Walsh, Steve Pagliuca and everyone committed to this bid to successfully finish what we’ve started, and bring the Games to the U.S.’’

In a news release, Boston 2024 said it made the changes to “focus more on sports management, the athlete and spectator experience, and venue and infrastructure planning.’’

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