Walker Sands Appoints Andrew Cross and Dave Parro to Co-CEO Roles

Mike Santoro headshot

Walker Sands has celebrated several significant milestones over the past two decades, from geographic expansions and acquisitions to making the Inc. 5000 list for the tenth year in a row. Today I’m pleased to announce the start of a new phase in our agency’s journey.

After 16 years at Walker Sands and three as CEO, I am handing off the CEO torch and elevating to the Walker Sands board of directors. In this planned leadership transition, I’m excited to share that Andrew Cross and Dave Parro have been appointed to Co-CEO roles.

Andrew and Dave are long-tenured leaders, each with more than a decade of experience at Walker Sands, who know every aspect of the business inside and out. They are both excited about the opportunity to lead the agency together and I have full confidence that Walker Sands will continue to thrive under their leadership.

Dave Parro, Mike Santoro and Andrew Cross at the Walker Sands Chicago office
  • Andrew Cross, Co-CEO: Starting as an entry-level public relations team member 13 years ago, Andrew ascended through the ranks to eventually oversee the entire department as a strong, people-first leader. His commitment to growth extended beyond PR, culminating in his appointment as President where he took charge of leading all of the agency’s service departments, with a particular focus on new business, strategic client support and overall agency growth and development. In his new role as Co-CEO, Andrew will continue to focus on growing the sophistication of the agency’s service teams across creative, content, demand generation, strategy and insights, public relations and client services.
  • Dave Parro, Co-CEO: Since joining Walker Sands in 2012, Dave has been instrumental in facilitating our expansion to sustain the agency’s rapid growth. His leadership has been evident in spearheading initiatives across multiple departments, including establishing and leading the client services department and implementing innovative technologies agency-wide. While serving as COO, Dave dedicated his efforts to business planning and enhancing service delivery through operational excellence. In his new role, he will take full ownership of the agency’s corporate functions, including finance, talent, operations, IT, and sales and marketing.

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. Andrew and Dave are world-class leaders, and I’m excited about where they will lead the agency in the years ahead.

When I began my career at Walker Sands 16 years ago, I found an instant community of immensely talented people who opened new worlds to me and supported me as I learned. Over time that community has only grown larger and more adept. I couldn’t be more proud of the Walker Sands we’ve built, and I’m thankful to everyone who has helped get the agency to where it is today.


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