Hayden Brown is president and CEO of Upwork. Before being named CEO in January 2020, Hayden held leadership roles at Upwork in both product and marketing.
Having been at Upwork since 2011, she is known for bold leadership and her passion for the company’s mission to create economic opportunities so that people live better lives. That passion stems from her childhood years spent living in Kathmandu, Nepal, and she’s committed to building a sustainable, high-performing business that delivers on that mission in ever-bigger ways.
Prior to becoming CEO, Hayden was Upwork’s chief marketing and product officer. In this role, she led the expansion of Upwork’s offerings to attract and serve sophisticated business buyers who could significantly benefit from Upwork’s global pool of talent.
Before joining Upwork, Hayden led corporate development for LivePerson and held strategy and corporate development roles at Microsoft. She began her career as an analyst at McKinsey and Company after earning an AB in Politics from Princeton University. She has been named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ "40 Under 40" and "Global Power 150—Women in Staffing." Hayden is married with two children.
Jeff McCombs is Chief Financial Officer of Upwork. Jeff is a seasoned finance executive with over a decade of executive-level experience leading financial and business operations on a global scale. Prior to joining Upwork, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of several organizations, including Doctor On Demand, OpenTable, and Flipboard. Jeff also previously served as the Head of Global Business Operations for Facebook, as well as the Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Yahoo!. He began his career in investment banking, working at both Credit Suisse First Boston and Lehman Brothers.
Jeff graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics.
Zoë leads human resources at Upwork. Her strategic leadership not only provides Upwork’s corporate employees with the culture and tools they need to be successful, but also extends to the independent professionals from around the world that augment the Upwork team. With this hybrid workforce, Zoë is building toward the future we envision, a reordering of the world of work with independent talent at the heart of every business.
Zoë’s team is responsible for hybrid workforce solutions, learning and development, business partnership, workplace management, talent access, total rewards, and HR operations. She was recently named to SIA’s Global Power Women in Staffing list for the fourth consecutive year.
Prior to joining Upwork in 2014, Zoë was Director of Global Initiatives and Senior HR Business Partner at Yahoo!, Director of HRBPs and Director of Recruitment at Rovi, and also led international customer care for Yahoo!.
Zoë holds a Master’s in theology from University of Exeter and a B.A. in religion and women’s studies from Earlham College.
Sam Bright is Chief Product and Experience Officer at Upwork. Bright leads a globally distributed team across Product Management, Design, User Experience and User Research, Talent Success, Customer Experience, Community Management, New Businesses, Trust and Safety, and Business Development.
As a senior operating executive with over 16 years of extensive experience scaling technology teams, businesses, and transformational customer experiences, Bright’s career reflects a demonstrated track record of growing multi-billion dollar P&Ls, executing complex domestic and global transactions, and leading large teams through inflection points. Prior to joining Upwork, Bright was the Vice President and General Manager of Verticals at eBay and had P&L responsibility for the company’s North America vertical business units.
Sam has been named to Black Enterprise's 2018 List of the Most Influential Blacks in Technology, The Network Journal's 2018 40 Under Forty class, and Savoy Magazine's 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. He is credentialed as an NACD Governance Fellow, and serves on the Board of Directors at Benetech as well as on the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum Advisory Council.
Sam holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA in Management from Taylor University.
Brian oversees Upwork's legal, regulatory and government affairs functions globally and engages stakeholders to promote Upwork’s reputation through corporate affairs initiatives. Brian has more than 15 years of legal experience focused on the intersection of the Internet and technology. Prior to joining us, Brian served in a global leadership role at eBay Inc. for more than a decade, where he began as eBay's first corporate attorney and most recently served as its Deputy General Counsel. Before joining eBay, Brian served as Vice President, Legal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and as a corporate attorney at Latham & Watkins.
In 2017, Brian was named one of the world’s Top 20 General Counsels by The Financial Times. Brian holds a law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of the Stanford Law Review, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics, with honors and distinction, from Stanford University.
Saty Bahadur is Chief Technology Officer at Upwork, where he leads a global engineering organization focused on technology innovation and transformation that helps expand Upwork’s product portfolio, accelerates delivery and powers the world’s work marketplace.
Before joining Upwork, Saty was a general manager at Amazon, leading the team responsible for preventing worldwide fraud and abuse on Amazon.com. Previously, he led the Alexa artificial intelligence group and built the platform on which all of Alexa runs. Earlier, Saty served in multiple engineering leadership positions at Microsoft and Intel.
Saty holds an M.S. in computer science from Clemson University, a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani, India, and numerous patents in mobile and operating systems.
Melissa Waters is Chief Marketing Officer of Upwork, where she oversees Upwork’s global marketing team. With more than 15 years of experience in high-growth companies, Melissa drives brand and product awareness as well as consumer engagement for the world’s work marketplace.
Prior to joining Upwork at the start of 2022, Melissa was Global VP of Marketing at Meta-owned platform, Instagram, where she led brand and product marketing for the company’s billions of users. Before Meta, Melissa held senior marketing leadership roles at Hims & Hers, Lyft, and Pandora.
Melissa holds an MBA from Babson College and a BA with honors in public relations and journalism from the University of Houston.
Eric Gilpin is the Senior Vice President of Sales at Upwork, where he leads the company’s global customer facing teams including enterprise sales, sales operations, sales engineering, customer success, channel development and talent solutions. Prior to joining Upwork, he held several executive sales leadership roles at CareerBuilder.
In 2017 and 2018 he was recognized as one of the Industry's top "40 under 40" by Staffing Industry Analyst's Inc. He is also included in the 2020 Top 100 Global Sales Leaders list by The Modern Sale.
Eric holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.