SAN FRANCISCO: Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall is departing the company after three years to launch a marketing consulting firm called 21st Century Brand, according to media reports.
Mildenhall’s last day at Airbnb will be October 20.
He decided to start the firm after high-profile startups and venture capital firms came to him for marketing advice, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper said Airbnb is seeking a new CMO and Mildenhall is continuing to work with the company on a consulting basis.
In an emailed statement, Mildenhall noted that since he joined Airbnb, the company has created a "beloved, mission-driven brand that has helped create phenomenal value. Belong Anywhere has become meaningful for our community all over the world."
He added that Airbnb’s "impact" has inspired him to take what he has learned and work with other founders to get people to "care deeply about their brands."
"This is why I’ve decided to leave Airbnb to set up my own brand consultancy," said Mildenhall.
Mildenhall joined Airbnb in June 2014. Previously, he worked at Coca-Cola for seven years in various roles, most recently as SVP of integrated marketing communication and design excellence. He was also responsible for leading the creative vision for Coke's portfolio of brands.
Mildenhall was featured on PRWeek’s Power List in 2015.
"I’m happy that [Mildenhall] has found his passion, and his next chapter will be exciting to watch," Brian Chesky, Airbnb cofounder, CEO, and head of community, said in an emailed statement.
Editor's note: This story was updated on October 4, 2017 with statements from Mildenhall and Chesky.