Gallegos United Hires the Former Head of WPP’s Mazda Division as Chief Creative Officer and Co-President

Harvey Marco will replace Dave Damman in the role

Dave Damman (L) and incoming CCO Harvey Marco (R). Gallegos United
Headshot of Erik Oster

Gallegos United, the independent Huntington Beach-based agency that primarily focuses on serving the Hispanic market, hired industry veteran Harvey Marco to serve as its new chief creative officer and co-president.

Marco, who formerly led WPP’s dedicated Mazda unit Garage Team Mazda, will take over for Dave Damman, who is resigning from the agency to “focus on the needs of his life outside of work” and moving back to Minnesota to be with his family. The new executive begins on July 1, just over five months after founder and CEO John Gallegos rebranded his group as United Collective and added a new digital agency and PR firm to the family.

“It’s bittersweet to leave the agency just as we move into a new era as the United Collective,” Damman said in a statement. “Unfortunately, family matters require I return to Minneapolis sooner rather than later.”

“We’re certainly sad to see Dave go, but we’re not naĂŻve to the fact that there is more to life than what happens within the agency’s four walls,” added Gallegos. “Dave has been an agent of change at Gallegos United; and it is with a tremendous amount of gratitude and respect that we say goodbye to Dave.”

When Damman joined Gallegos in the executive leadership role a year ago, Gallegos also named chief strategy and engagement officer Andrew Delbridge to the co-president role at the time. The outgoing executive previously served as interim global executive creative director for Commonwealth IPG following stints in executive leadership roles with Carmichael Lynch and Fallon.

Marco co-founded Garage Team Mazda in 2010 and led the group’s efforts for the auto giant as executive vice president and chief creative officer before leaving last fall; WPP subsequently hired Saatchi & Saatchi veteran Erich Funke as creative lead. Earlier in his career, Marco served in executive leadership roles at JWT New York and Saatchi & Saatchi L.A.

“It’s with great excitement and anticipation that we welcome Harvey to Gallegos United,” added Gallegos. “Dave, Andrew and I all believe Harvey is the perfect person to continue our upward trajectory and take this agency to the next level creatively.”

“John, Andrew, Dave and the leadership of Gallegos United have built something that I passionately believe in,” Marco said in a statement. “A creatively driven company, a deep well of capabilities, and a culturally diverse mindset that reflects the world we live in.”

The executive shakeup follows Gallegos United hiring Mayra Houseknecht in the newly-created role of head of integrated production earlier this month, as well as welcoming art director Suhey Saldarriaga and junior art director Mani Madala. The trio of new arrivals comprised the first new hires under Damman since the group’s restructuring in January.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.