Mildenhall is an internationally recognized marketing leader with decades of experience growing brands for public companies including Coca Cola and Airbnb.
Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), the Detroit-based fintech platform company including mortgage, real estate and other financial services businesses, today announced that it has named Jonathan Mildenhall as its first ever group Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), effective January 8, 2024.
In this new role, Mildenhall will be responsible for creating a unified and compelling voice for all businesses under the Rocket Companies umbrella, with all marketing and communications teams for the Company’s brands reporting directly to him.
“Jonathan is one of the top marketing minds in the world, with a strong reputation for consistently delivering compelling campaigns that break through the clutter and become socially relevant,” said Varun Krishna, Chief Executive Officer for Rocket Companies. “I have been highly impressed by the number of incredible stories we have to tell. Countless customers, team members and vendors have told us how working with Rocket changed their lives. I am looking forward to Jonathan and the team creating new and innovative ways to share these inspiring narratives with the world.”
Mildenhall brings more than 30 years of experience building and promoting large, brand-focused companies. In 2018, he co-founded TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, one of the world’s leading branding and marketing consultancies. Over the past five years, the business has helped some of the world’s most influential companies scale their impact including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Zalando, PepsiCo, NextDoor and Walmart. Mildenhall will remain Chairman of the business.
“The role Rocket plays in helping people achieve the American Dream through home ownership and financial freedom is massive and cannot be overstated,” said Mildenhall. “I am honored to be given the opportunity to work with this talented team, led by Varun, to tell stories that will inspire and motivate. It will be our mission to create integrated marketing campaigns that live up to the extraordinary social impact that Rocket makes every day.”
Prior to founding his own firm, Mildenhall served as the first CMO of Airbnb and led the marketing through a period of unprecedented growth of the company. He and his team helped the brand become a household name while the short-term rental company expanded from 400,000 homes on the platform to more than 4.5 million residences in 191 countries in just three and a half years. Airbnb aired its first Super Bowl commercial under Mildenhall and forged many co-marketing partnerships with culturally relevant brands to raise awareness and legitimacy for the business.
Before his time at Airbnb, Mildenhall led Coca-Cola’s marketing as Vice President of global advertising strategy and content excellence. He and his team took Coke’s creative in new directions and created the company’s global marketing campaign “Open Happiness,” which helped the brand see its most profitable growth period in 20 years. During his time leading Coke’s marketing, it was named the Creative Marketer of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Mildenhall, a British-American, is also a board member of GoFundMe and Fanatics. He has been included on Forbes’ list of the World’s most influential CMOs, Business Insider’s list of the most innovative CMOs and won Adweek’s Brand Genius award.