We're getting technical for our latest Remarkable Leadership profile. Introducing Eli Rosner, EVP and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Eli joined HealthEquity in 2022 and leads the Technology organization with a focus on security, unification, and simplification. His teams are dedicated to creating a better customer experience for more than 14 million members.
HealthEquity: It’s wonderful to welcome you, officially, to the company. You joined our Purple culture very recently. How are you enjoying it so far?
Eli Rosner: Yes, I came on board this spring and I love it. I see so many opportunities to improve lives and support our core mission of connecting health and wealth. I love the mission. It’s a big part of why I joined.
HealthEquity: That’s wonderful! You’re talking to us from Atlanta, Georgia. Is that where you’re from?
Eli Rosner: No, I’ve lived in the Atlanta area with my family for 11 years. I’m originally from Israel—born, raised, served, and educated. But, for over three decades now I’ve lived in the US and love the country.
HealthEquity: It sounds like you have an interesting story to tell. Let’s start with the 10 questions.
10 questions with Eli Rosner
1. What was your first job and what is your role now?
My first job was managing the software department for a civil engineering firm. People might think it’s interesting that I didn’t intend to have a career in software developing. My original plan was to have my own civil engineering firm with my dad, but it didn't work out. I had studied at Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and received degrees in civil engineering and computer science. I guess I’m glad I took so many courses in software engineering because that led to me moving to the US in 1990 and a fulfilling product management and technology career. I’ve worked in both small and large, private and public companies all over America—Ohio, California, Georgia—and even London.
Today, I’m the CTO at HealthEquity and accountable for product strategy, portfolio management, product management, and technology. That includes responsibility for all the engineering and technology disciplines here—enterprise architecture, software development, and operations. At a high level this means I work on our enterprise software and leading the transformation to a platform-based business model.
2. What is your guiding principle or North Star?
My guiding principle is known as the Golden Rule or treating others as you want to be treated. It’s simple and it’s easy to understand no matter where you’re from. When we put this just treatment into practice and do it every day it helps everyone feel valued. I think that’s so important.
3. HealthEquity has a strong commitment to deliver a remarkable experience. How are we continuing to improve in this area?
I’ll start by saying that success is very simple for me. It's all about growth in business and growing the people around us. And growth is dependent on having happy customers and teammates. I'm looking for all the drivers we can leverage to continue to both grow the company and help our teammates grow. I believe we have many opportunities to grow the company and invest in our teammates—informally and formally. We can be clear and focused. We’re on an exciting journey.
Our teams have already taken on a great cross-functional effort to evaluate our systems and define our “north-star” to guide us. There are many things HealthEquity has done well. Now we’re building on those successes. And we’re asking important questions. What platforms should we be using? How will we continue to modernize our systems? How will we take our services to the cloud? And how will we upgrade our databases so we have a single source of truth? Everything we’ve learned so far means that we’ll be focusing on 1) the Cloud, 2) APIs, and 3) Data.
I think it’s important to learn from experiences to better inform our work today of implementing tools and processes. The technology work we’re doing now will cement our leadership position in the market and help us be ready for more transformation opportunities or even disruptions in our space.
We’ll build and maintain solid, scalable, stable, and secure systems supportive of innovation. (Laughs) I know that’s a lot of S-words but that work will get us to where we want to go. Three years from now I would love to see HealthEquity as key player in health and wealth ecosystems integrating with more FinTech companies. That's the vision: realize growth in our overall financial and teammate metrics.
4. What advice do you have for people just starting out in their career?
My best advice is to be a learning person. Continue to learn new things, new ways of thinking. And when you get constructive feedback, be receptive and not defensive. In general, people that learn and are willing to truly take in feedback can truly grow.
Here’s the thing. Separate skill building from learning. You can always acquire skills by going to training and taking classes. But learning to take feedback well and learn from mistakes is the biggest way to grow your career. Jokingly, I call myself an expert in many areas because the definition of an expert is someone who has made all the possible mistakes already. (Laughs)
The second advice I’ll share is to find a job that you’re passionate about and that you love doing. Putting all this advice together means that as a learning person you can learn what you like best and adapt.
5. What would surprise people to know about you?
First, it’s probably not a surprise to know that I’m committed to fitness. I have a strict diet and a strict exercise regime. That's how I keep healthy. But I’ll share a secret: I’m human and I have down days. I sometimes cheat on my diet and when I do, I like vanilla coconut ice cream.
Second, people have told me that I don’t seem approachable. Maybe it’s my outward experience, tone, or style. So, I think it might genuinely surprise people to know that I welcome people approaching me. Almost 24/7, if anyone needs help or support, I’m probably one of the best people on the planet to go to. I would do anything to help.
6. What is a defining moment in your life?
Moving from Israel to the US was absolutely a defining moment. I thought I would live in Ohio for two or three years and then return to Israel. Now it’s 32 years later and I can look back happily at how immigration affected me and my family. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to live in such a great country and be accepted as a citizen. It makes me very proud to be an American citizen.
7. What book influenced you in your professional life?
I like books that talk about leadership and competitive strategy. John Collins, Jeffrey Moore, Michael Porter, and Patrick Lencioni are my favorite authors. Continuing to learn about and apply principles of leadership and character is very important to me. To list a couple, I encourage people to read “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, “Dealing with Darwin” by Geoffrey Moore, “Competitive Strategy” by Michael Porter, and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni.
8. What cause is closest to your heart?
I love any organization that supports education and health. Both areas are near and dear to my heart.
I get a lot of satisfaction from coaching, mentoring, and guiding people around me. I’m at a stage in my career where I want to give back. At the end of the day, I’ll consider myself successful if the people around me have advanced their careers and are known to be great leaders.
9. What's your favorite part of helping clients and members reach their goals?
I love what I do for a living. Work life balance couldn't get any better for me. My hobby is my job. It’s about helping people. I fell in love with HealthEquity, especially the mission and the purpose to teach people how to invest in their health. I think it’s a great sign that without exception every teammate I’ve met wants to do the right thing for the company. We will succeed.
10. What absolutely excites you right now about HealthEquity?
I’m very excited about the transformation we’re going through. We’re extending our Purple culture by establishing a culture of ownership and accountability that will enable us to realize our significant potential. As we’re applying modern technologies to build our future platform, we’re essentially upscaling our systems. At the same time this upscales our people. Maybe I sound too technical, but I love this because it’s about helping people—our teammates and our members.
HealthEquity: Eli, knowing how busy you are, thank you for making time for this conversation. When people meet you, they’ll see just how approachable you are. Your warmth and humanity come through loud and clear.