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Rocket hires former Thomson Reuters, Intel executive as its first CTO

Shawn Malhotra will be responsible for overseeing AI development, data science, product engineering and other areas

Rocket Companies, the parent of Rocket Mortgage, announced on Monday that it has hired Shawn Malhotra, a former Thomson Reuters and Intel executive, as the first chief technology officer (CTO) in the company’s history.   

Malhotra will oversee, among other areas, the firm’s artificial intelligence (AI) development, data science, product engineering, technology operations and information security.

HousingWire reported in early April that Rocket Mortgage chief Information officer Brian Woodring left the company to pursue other opportunities. Since then, the company has been searching for a tech leader.“

From building microchips for Intel starting at 18 to implementing generative AI as the global head of engineering for Thomson Reuters, Malhotra has led teams that rolled out groundbreaking platforms for creating AI products and hardware,” Rocket Companies CEO Varun Krishna said in a social media post.

Malhotra will lead the company’s tech initiatives to pivot into an AI-fueled homeownership journey. His teams will be responsible for “removing the complexity and frustration” in the process, while his primary objective will be “to increase the rate of innovation and execution in the organization,” Krishna added. 

Rocket has made key appointments as part of its strategic AI initiatives. This includes the hiring of Jonathan Mildenhall, a former Airbnb and Coca-Cola executive, to a newly created chief marketing officer position. Additionally, fintech expert Alastair (Alex) Rampell, who co-founded several fintech firms, including Affirm, joined the Rocket’s board of directors. 

The new strategy also resulted in the launch last month of a proprietary tech platform called Rocket Logic and a new tool called Synopsis. Rocket Logic relies on 10 petabytes of proprietary data and 50 million annual call transcripts.

The company claims the platform can automatically process nearly 90% of data points extracted from documents in a month. It can also reduce by 25% the number of times a mortgage professional interacts with a loan each year.

Before Rocket, Malhotra spent seven years at Thomson Reuters, with his most recent position as head of engineering and product development. There, he established a platform to accelerate the development of generative AI solutions and introduced an AI assistant. 

Previously, Malhotra spent 12 years at Intel, including at the acquired company Altera. The executive, who has five patents issued in the U.S., started his career as a software developer for Qualcomm

Rocket executives are optimistic that their investment in AI will not only accelerate the company’s growth but also enhance profitability. In the first quarter of 2024, Rocket reported a GAAP net income of $291 million, following a loss of $233 million in Q4 2023, per filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

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