Walker Sands today announced the appointment of co-CEOs Andrew Cross and Dave Parro as part of a planned leadership transition, succeeding outgoing CEO Mike Santoro, who remains on the Walker Sands board of directors.
Both Cross and Parro are veterans of Walker Sands, with more than 25 years of combined experience at the agency. Parro was serving as COO and Cross as President prior to this appointment.
The move caps a 16-year career at Walker Sands for Santoro, including 3 years as CEO. He oversaw the growth of Walker Sands from a niche player into one of the top integrated marketing agencies for B2B companies. Under Santoro’s leadership, Walker Sands was named an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company for 10 years in a row.
“One of my proudest achievements as Walker Sands CEO has been watching new leaders take on more responsibility and open new doors for us as an agency,” said Santoro. “Eventually, if you do it right, you earn your own opportunity to watch those leaders grab the baton and run. Andrew and Dave are world-class leaders supported by extraordinary leaders themselves, and I feel so fortunate knowing this team and our clients are in great hands.”
“I’m so grateful to Mike for his leadership and mentorship,” said Parro. “He is a tireless advocate for our team, our clients and the industry. As we enter the next chapter of Walker Sands, we remain committed to accelerating the growth of B2B companies, and excited about the opportunity to innovate on how we deliver on that mission.”
In their roles as co-CEO, Parro will continue to oversee the agency’s corporate functions including finance, talent, operations, IT and sales and marketing, while Cross manages the agency’s billable teams including creative, content, demand generation, strategy and insights, public relations and client services.
“We’re entering such an exciting phase in our journey as an agency,” Cross said. “Clients are looking to us to be true strategic partners, to push beyond traditional channel excellence and develop programs that help them achieve their north-star business objectives. Walker Sands continues to be so well-positioned to deliver on this need. I’m incredibly proud of our team and so excited for what is ahead.”
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