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Handing over the reins

Employee
Stephane K Employee Member Since: Jan 9, 2009
1 of 1

Dear Upwork Community,

 

It’s with immense gratitude to our community that I share the news I am handing over the reins as CEO of Upwork to my successor, Hayden Brown, Upwork’s current Chief Marketing & Product Officer, at year end. 

 

In looking back at the last seven years, I’m deeply appreciative of what our community and team has accomplished. I often say this takes all of us - You. Me. Everyone. Upwork is powered by deep values and a common sense of purpose. The people and our shared passion for our mission is what drew me here - the opportunity to work with an exceptional community transforming work for the better. We have made true progress on our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives.

 

In Hayden, I see both the leader committed to furthering our mission and the innovative visionary dedicated to building more solutions that will make Upwork a better place for independent professionals and businesses to find each other and work together. In her current role, Hayden manages a complex part of our business that requires to lead with equal parts head and heart. The unanimous decision to name her as the next leader of our company was not a coincidence – but, in fact, the logical result of years of discussions and preparations. Before joining Upwork eight years ago, Hayden was the head of corporate development at LivePerson and previously held several strategy and M&A roles at Microsoft. Prior to that, she started her career in the strategy group at McKinsey & Company. Hayden was the logical choice to lead Upwork as its next President & CEO and the Board’s decision to appoint her to this role was unanimous.

 

So, why am I leaving? Well, it was not an easy decision to make – I was choosing between my two “families,” my work family and my wife and four children. After more than seven years of around the clock work demands, I am looking forward to taking a step back, and to spending more quality time with my family.

 

Looking forward, my top priorities are ensuring a smooth transition and acting as a champion for Hayden and the company. I will remain involved with Upwork as an advisor and Board member, though I firmly believe that I am leaving the company at a time where our product is in great shape and our people are aligned and driven by a unified mission.

 

This company matters. Your work matters. Thank you to the entire Upwork community for inspiring me over the past seven years. 

 

If you’d like more information, our press release is here.

 

Best Regards,

Stephane 

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