Earnest Appoints New Chief People and Chief Technology Officers

CPO Leanne Loveday-Smith and CTO Meetesh Karia to Support Strategic, Long-Term Growth and Evolution of Leading Fintech Company

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Earnest, a fintech company dedicated to making higher education accessible and affordable for everyone, today announced two strategic additions to the executive team: Chief People Officer (CPO) Leanne Loveday-Smith, SPHR, M.S. and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Meetesh Karia. Both individuals will play a core role in achieving the company’s ambitious plans to serve students by ensuring Earnest has the right people, technology, and processes in place.

Loveday-Smith is well-versed in the high-growth tech sector. She will accelerate plans to strengthen Earnest’s fully remote work environment and enhance the organization’s community-minded culture. Drawing upon nearly 20 years of global human resources experience, she will oversee HR and talent acquisition with a focus on leadership development, talent engagement and advancement, and building high-performing teams. Previously, Loveday-Smith served in senior talent management roles at Oura, Mixpanel, Acumen LLC, and Appian Corporation, where she honed her expertise in developing and directing human resource teams and impactful programs.

Karia will help evolve the company’s technology strategy, platform, and delivery to support more holistic, innovative, and reliable customer experiences. With 25+ years of technology and product development experience, he is skilled at architecting scalable modern solutions and leading high-performing, innovative, and diverse teams. Additionally, Karia will bring his vast experience in security and privacy to help ensure that Earnest continues to keep the security of its user’s data front and center. During his 10-year tenure at The Zebra, an insurtech company he helped grow to be a “unicorn,” he served as both the chief technology officer and the chief data officer charged with enhancing transparency and simplicity in consumers’ experience.

“Earnest is focused on supporting students throughout their educational journey and setting them up for long-term success,” said Earnest CEO David Green. “We have huge ambitions that Meetesh and Leanne enthusiastically share. Their experience, expertise, and collective commitment to this vision will help us to raise the bar and deliver even greater value to our customers.”

“I was delighted to learn that one of the company values at Earnest is ‘Passion for Challenges,’” affirmed Loveday-Smith. “There’s nothing I like more than advancing conventional approaches to HR. I believe that building strong, authentic relationships—virtually and in person—is what creates real value. Businesses, people, and society all benefit when connected communities work together to solve tough challenges.”

“Earnest is tackling an issue that I believe is important to our collective society,” said Karia. “Improving access to higher education is an issue that I believe is important to our collective society,” said Karia. “I’m inspired by the company’s efforts to simplify, streamline, and humanize education lending and excited to play a part in making that possible.”

Since 2015, Earnest has empowered students with financial support and the tools needed to get on the right financial track. To date, the company has helped more than 228,000 borrowers with more than $19.2 billion in student loan financing to pay back their student loans on their own terms. In 2021, Earnest acquired Going Merry, a financial aid and scholarship application platform that connects students with grants and scholarships, minimizing students’ total educational debt.

For more information about Earnest, visit www.earnest.com.

About Earnest

Earnest is a fintech lender focused on education finance, whose mission is to make higher education accessible and affordable for everyone. Founded in 2013 on the belief that financially responsible people deserve better options and access to credit, Earnest’s lending products empower anyone seeking higher education to reduce the total price tag of their education, supercharge their ability to pay down student debt and get on the right financial track fast.

Earnest is a subsidiary of Navient (Nasdaq: NAVI). Learn more at earnest.com.

Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit www.earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents: Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.


© 2022 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.


Katie Schira


(706) 550-2325


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