Upwork Announces Leadership Transition

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Upwork Inc. (Nasdaq: UPWK), the largest online talent solution, as measured by gross services volume, today announced the initiation of a leadership transition. Stephane Kasriel, President & Chief Executive Officer, has informed the Board of his decision to step down at year end 2019, and the Board has appointed Hayden Brown, current Chief Marketing & Product Officer, to succeed Kasriel as President & CEO, effective January 1, 2020. Kasriel will remain involved with Upwork as an advisor to the company, and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors through the company’s 2020 annual meeting of stockholders. Brown will also join the company’s Board of Directors.

Thomas Layton, Chairman of the Upwork Board of Directors, stated, “On behalf of the Board, we thank Stephane for his tremendous contributions – overseeing Upwork’s success in furthering the future of work, taking the company public and creating value for investors, team members and customers over more than seven years in a senior leadership capacity, including the last four years as President & CEO. We are grateful for his continued service to Upwork during this transition as it embarks on its next phase of growth.” Layton added, “Hayden was the unanimous choice of the Board to become the next President & CEO. Her deep understanding of Upwork and proven leadership in product, design and marketing have demonstrated that she is the right choice. We look forward to supporting Hayden as Upwork executes on the opportunity to gain more market share, particularly upmarket with large enterprise customer accounts, and achieve our ambitious long-term goals with profitable growth.”

Brown said, “It is a privilege to be asked to lead Upwork and a team for which I have great admiration. I am very enthusiastic about the company’s future, and share a deep passion for the transformational impact Upwork has through our mission of creating economic opportunities so people have better lives. I look forward to continuing my work with the Board and management to drive Upwork’s strategic initiatives and deliver on its goals for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Kasriel said, “I look forward to seeing Upwork build on its current momentum as Hayden executes upon our vision. Having worked with Hayden for more than seven years together setting the company’s strategy leading up to today, it has been very clear to me and the entire Board as part of its executive succession planning that Hayden is absolutely the right leader for Upwork.” Kasriel added, “I am proud of all we’ve accomplished as Upwork transforms work and creates better ways for businesses to access the quality talent they need. Over 30% of the Fortune 500 use Upwork. Powered by a common sense of purpose in a mission-driven company, it has been an honor and highlight of my career to lead Upwork as it bridges skills gaps caused by traditional time and place-oriented hiring methods that no longer make sense. I look forward to continuing my work with the talented Upwork team as an advisor and Board member, ensuring a smooth transition.”

Brown most recently led Upwork’s product, design and marketing teams, developing and marketing a platform that enables talented professionals and businesses to seamlessly find each other and work successfully together on projects large and small. Prior to joining Upwork, she was the head of corporate development at LivePerson and previously held several strategy and M&A roles at Microsoft. She started her career in the strategy group at McKinsey & Company. Brown holds an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University.

Jessica Tiwari, most recently VP of Product, will become SVP of Product and Design. Tiwari has been with Upwork since 2012 and holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Lars Asbjornsen, SVP of Marketing, will take on the additional marketing responsibilities which Brown had been driving in her prior role.

Upwork today also reaffirmed its fourth quarter 2019 and full year 2019 guidance previously disclosed in connection with the announcement of Upwork’s third quarter 2019 financial results on November 6, 2019.

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