Chief Executive Officer
W/ since October 2010
Aaron Burnett is the CEO of Wheelhouse. His more than two decades of marketing experience has been defined by an early realization: that conventional, mercenary business as usual brings little joy or fulfillment. Instead, Aaron has spent over two decades cultivating and experimenting with an unconventional set of values focused on helpfulness and generosity. It’s a story told through proven performance, such as:
- The successful invention and development of a telecommunications platform
- The doubling of affiliate sales within 100 days of being named SVP of Marketing
- The execution of a marketing strategy that grew a customer base by 900%
It’s also story told through people—by strings of adjectives, straight from Aaron’s colleagues, employees, and clients: “trustworthy,” “astute,” “imaginative,” and “scary smart,” to list a few.
Every point of Aaron’s career has been marked by his ability to leverage technology and his own creativity to drive growth. At McCaw Cellular (later acquired by AT&T, becoming AT&T Wireless), Aaron started as a data-entry temp and was hired as a full-time employee within three weeks after identifying patterns in maintenance data indicating systemic issues. Within five years, he rose to VP of Sales & Marketing, successfully inventing and developing a telecommunications platform that reduced key network expenses by 80% and increased call completion rates by 16%.
Aaron has an uncanny ability to envision, craft, and share a story—to pinpoint and never lose sight of its core value. His creativity, coupled with a wealth of marketing experience, has led to a fine-tuned strategic acumen that guides his own direction and the direction of his partners and clients. As SVP of Marketing at Speakeasy, Aaron doubled direct and affiliate sales within 100 days. He developed and executed a PR strategy that dramatically increased the company’s coverage on CNN, USA Today, AP, and Inc. Magazine. Aaron was later hired as VP of Marketing at NetMotion Wireless, where he executed a strategy that grew the company’s customer base from 70 to 700 in less than two years.
Among his many other professional accomplishments, Aaron served as the president and principal of Produxs, a UX design firm; was one of four partners in a boutique brand strategy and marketing consultancy with the creator of the Microsoft Windows brand and the former president of Starbucks International; co-founded the first web-based telecommunication service aggregator serving the Hispanic market in the U.S.; and developed and implemented a marketing strategy as VP of Marketing for PivotLink that took the company from obscurity to rising stardom in its market.
Wheelhouse is the culmination of Aaron’s experience and commitment to values-driven decision making. The agency’s culture is grown and protected by twin missions: to be the best partner for each client and to be the best place to work for as many people as possible. In 2015, Aaron took Wheelhouse values beyond the office, launching a quarterly “Generosity Day” initiative to serve those in need within the Seattle community.
Aaron’s unique approach at Wheelhouse has been a resounding success—an accomplishment reflected by the company’s glowing Glassdoor reviews and its recent nomination as a Best Workplace in Washington. Employees are happy, turnover is very low, and the agency’s average annual growth rate over the past three years has been 60% with the word-of-mouth support of happy clients.