Rocket Companies announced this week that its CEO Jay Farner has stepped away from his role as Rocket Mortgage CEO, to assume the role of CEO of Rocket Central, the mortgage company’s fintech platform.
Farner assumed his new role Jan. 1, according to a press release from the Detroit-based company, and will retain his role as CEO of Rocket Companies, the parent company of both Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Central.
Bob Walters, COO of both Rocket Companies and Rocket Mortgage, has stepped into the role as CEO of Rocket Mortgage.
Prior to the promotion, Walters oversaw mortgage servicing, client experience operations and capital markets and technology teams at Rocket Mortgage. In addition to his new duties as CEO of Rocket Mortgage, Walters will continue to be COO of Rocket Companies, the press release said.
The move came with other changes to the C-suite at the mortgage lender. Tim Birkmeier, chief revenue officer at Rocket Mortgage, will become its president, while Angelo Vitale, who previously held the role of CEO at Rocket Central, will now solely focus on his roles as general counsel and secretary at Rocket Companies, the company said.
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“As a platform business, Rocket Companies provides services from each of its brands to clients who want help making a complex transaction easier – like getting a home loan, purchasing a car or working on their budgeting and personal finances thanks to the recent acquisition of Truebill,” the company said.
Rocket acquired Truebill — a budgeting and credit improvement app with 2.5 million users — for $1.275 billion in cash in December 2021. At the time, the company said the acquisition was a step toward step toward a centralized platform for clients to manage their financial lives. Analysts have said the acquisition signaled Rocket’s push to diversify its business, particularly in technology, at a time when mortgage volume is slowing.
Farner has also been very vocal about the company’s technological prowess and analysts who cover Rocket said his transition to a new role is meant to signal Rocket’s fintech capabilities.
Farner will continue to work closely with both Walters and Birkmeier, he said in a statement.
“Rocket Mortgage is in excellent hands with Bob and Tim, who have been instrumental drivers in the company’s growth,” said Farner. “We have worked side-by-side for decades and will continue to do so.”
Farner added, “Tim has worked closely with the mortgage banking team to hone our expertise in providing an exceptional experience for everyone – ensuring we make good on our promise, ‘Every Client. Every Time. No Exceptions. No Excuses.’”
In reaction to the news, Rocket Companies stock dipped, and was trading at $14. 18 before closing on Wednesday.