Rocket Companies has announced that following a 27-year career at the company, CEO Jay Farner plans to retire from his position effective June 1, 2023. At that time, Bill Emerson, longtime Rocket executive and current Vice Chairman of Rock Holdings, will assume the role of CEO on an interim basis.
Farner will begin transitioning his roles and responsibilities to Emerson to ensure a seamless transition on June 1. Farner has also decided to step down from his position on the Rocket Board of Directors, effective February 9, 2023, and Emerson has been appointed to the Board, effective immediately.
Rocket’s Board of Directors has begun its search for a permanent CEO, and has retained a leading firm to support its evaluation of internal and external candidates.
"For nearly three decades, Jay has poured everything he has into making our organization successful," said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rocket Companies. "Since being appointed CEO of Rocket Mortgage in 2017, and subsequently CEO of Rocket Companies in connection with the August 2020 IPO, Jay has overseen the most rapid period of growth and profitability in our 37-year history. His passion for people and vision for the future has benefitted Rocket tremendously and on behalf of the entire Board, I'd like to thank him for all of his work over the years."
Emerson brings 30 years of experience at Rocket, as well as a deep understanding of the housing and financial technology industries. He served as CEO of Rocket Mortgage from 2002-2017, and has served as Vice Chairman of Rock Holdings, the majority shareholder of Rocket Companies, and former parent of Rocket Mortgage, since 2017.
"I want to thank Jay for everything he has done for this organization,” added Emerson. “He has been a tremendous leader and friend. His strong vision created a pathway for Rocket Companies' continued success today and into the future. I am excited to roll up my sleeves with our team to continue driving Rocket's incredible growth."
Under Emerson’s leadership at Rocket Mortgage, the company became the second largest retail mortgage lender in America, broke numerous company records for mortgage volume and earned an array of esteemed industry awards for client satisfaction. In addition to his tenure at Rocket Mortgage, Emerson has served as the Chairman of the national Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and has testified before Congress several times on policies to help expand access to home financing. Emerson currently serves as a board member of the Housing Policy Council (HPC) and the HPC Executive Council.
"Being part of this amazing organization has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. More than 27 years ago, fresh out of college, I decided to join a small mortgage company led by Dan Gilbert. I never could have predicted the amazing journey that one decision would have taken me on, and I want to thank Dan for his mentorship, guidance, and friendship over the years," Farner said. "Rocket Companies is full of incredible people–passionate about serving our clients, the community and each other. While the time is right for me to focus on my family, I will certainly miss working with some of the brightest minds in the fintech industry."