Q&A with David Santora, CEO of Ineo
David Santora, our CEO, speaks about what it takes to have great leadership within global mobility, COVID-19 impacts on the industry, 2022 forecasts and plans, and his passion for people.
When David stepped into the role of CEO at Ineo, he brought with him over two decades of senior executive experience, a proven record of leadership, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Prior to joining Ineo in 2009, David co-founded Relocation Taxes, LLC and was a former partner and co-owner of The Hessel Group, Inc. and The Hessel Group U.K.
He is known best for his expertise in the financial and strategic management of global software-related companies. David leverages that deep industry experience to ensure Ineo continues to maintain its position as the mobility industry’s most trusted knowledge source.
How many times have you moved for work?
“Only once. I was an early and original adopter of remote work, so I’ve always been able to work from multiple locations without having to permanently relocate”.
As the leader of a global mobility company, what does a typical day look like for you?
“There isn’t a typical day. One thing that is typical is that none of them are typical. Part of the reason for this is that we have a very broad and diverse client base around the world. Secondly, mobility is a 24-hour business; It’s a business that never sleeps. For example, I work on the East Coast and our office is in Denver. We also have a lot of clients on the West coast as well as in London.
That being said, my days are very hands-on. A good part of my day is spent guiding and working with our team on driving new business opportunities. The next piece is managing the administrative end. There’s a tremendous need to really keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening around the world when it comes to mobility”.
What was the impact of the pandemic on the company?
“There is no handbook for managing a business during a pandemic – and a global business at that. However, in hindsight, I can say that we did well, all things considered. The people on our team really drove Ineo’s success. We were able to support our clients and we’re actually bigger, better, and stronger than we ever were”.
How has COVID impacted the mobility industry?
“COVID has had a tremendous impact on global mobility in two different ways. Number one, with travel restrictions and quarantine, the pandemic initially slowed down the conveyor belt of mobility. But second, it accelerated remote work and practically advanced three decades within a six month period.
Sometimes I say that being a CEO is like being a Chief Expectation Officer – I’m always looking out for our next opportunity. And I do believe that somewhere along the line, this transition to remote work will provide an opportunity for more individuals to work in different places, and the compliance aspect of it is going to evolve exponentially!
We at Ineo know a lot about compliance, that’s what our clients count on us for. So if we can harness technology compliance and support clients as they navigate this, I think it will bode well for our future”.
What are poised to be the biggest challenges Ineo’s clients will be facing in 2022, and how will the company help address them?
“The biggest challenge will be how to quantify what the new normal is going to be, because in our business, there’s a lot of logistics and planning involved. If you’re going to put your global workforce in a different part of the country, or part of the world, that doesn’t happen overnight. Our clients need to consider how that is going to be maintained, while also being able to be agile in compliance environments.
We’ve got a number of clients who, it’s almost hard to believe, have grown more in the last year or year and a half than they did in the previous three. Part of what we hope to be able to do is continue to support our clients by providing them with the tools they need. I always say to our clients, ‘If you win, we win’. When you have a certain client base, you get a kinetic energy that is unleashed by your clients that drive you to drive your business.
2022 is going to be a combination of evolutionary and revolutionary. It will be evolutionary from the standpoint of how this business is going to continue, and revolutionary in how the workforce is going to be deployed and how mobility is going to play a part in the successful support of that reconfiguration”.
What is your vision for Ineo over the next five years?
“One of the things that was important to the founders of Ineo was that Ineo would become what I call an ‘entity of perpetuity’, meaning that our business will go way beyond our time. That, to me, would be the greatest success; to see this business go beyond and to have another generation succeed with Ineo and continue to grow our business.
A big part of our business is to look forward to global expansion, and there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity. While our origins are North American centric, we provide global technology that supports over 100 different country tax calculations.
Ultimately, our vision is to continue the drive toward becoming an entity of perpetuity that brings value to its customers”.
What is one thing you are passionate about outside of work?
“I’m passionate about many things because that’s just who I am! First and foremost is my family. I’m also passionate about the outdoors, the beauty of nature, and seeing other people succeed”.