financial services

Rocket Companies Hires First-Ever CMO

Rocket Companies has hired Jonathan Mildenhall as the first ever CMO of the Detroit-based fintech platform. 

Mildenhall, a MediaPost All Star in 2018, previously led marketing for Airbnb and Coca Cola. He will oversee all marketing and communications teams for the Rocket brands, which include mortgage, real estate and other financial services businesses. 

He 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 to him. 

Rocket was attracted to Mildenhall’s “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, in a release.



Mildenhall brings more than 30 years of experience on both the client and agency side of the business.

A Black man from Leeds, England, Mildenhall has recounted how difficult it was for him to land his first job in marketing. He has been an critic of the industry’s lack of diversity, going so far as to invite a group of minority candidates for job interviews at the Cannes Advertising Festival in 2018, according to the MediaPost story about his All Star selection.

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 companies including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Zalando, PepsiCo, NextDoor and Walmart. Mildenhall will remain chairman of the business. 

Mildenhall is also a board member of GoFundMe, Fanatics and Peloton Interactive. He began his career on the agency side with leadership positions at several London shops including Mother, where he was head of strategy, and TBWA London, where he was managing director.

Prior to founding his own firm, Mildenhall served as the first CMO of Airbnb. Airbnb aired its first Super Bowl commercial under Mildenhall.  

Mildenhall also led Coca-Cola’s marketing as vice president of global advertising strategy and content excellence. He and his team 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. 

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