All Things Upwork
July 28, 2010 by Erica Benton

Today we were thrilled to announce that we recently nabbed Nilesh Lakhani as our new chief financial officer. He’s joining oDesk at a time of explosive growth, and we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the newest member of our management team.

oDesk: Nilesh, you’ve had a long and successful track record at both public and private companies. You’ve been linked to fast-growing businesses across technology, media and telecommunications industries. What attracted you to oDesk?

Nilesh Lakhani: Mainly, it was meeting with Gary (Swart, oDesk CEO) and the rest of the team. There’s a straightforward openness about Gary’s management style that really appealed to me. It let me know from a very early stage that he’d be a great business partner to work with. The entire team here at oDesk is very transparent and collaborative, and its clear that they really care about what they do.  Additionally, the business model of oDesk is a direction that I believe the world is moving towards — and it was apparent from the get-go that, for the oDesk team, “changing how the world works” isn’t just a motto, it’s a mantra.

oDesk: When you aren’t hard at work, where might we find you?

Lakhani: Most likely, I’ll be spending time with my wonderful wife, our son and our “well-traveled” golden retriever, but living in the Bay Area means I can easily indulge my other passions: enjoying outdoor activities, indulging in fantastic restaurants of all types, listening to rock & roll and watching independently-produced international films. This area has a rich diversity of culture that is so accessible – I’m looking forward to experiencing it all!

oDesk: You recently relocated back to the Bay Area, but you’ve lived in Russia, the United Kingdom and South Africa and have traveled extensively elsewhere in the world. How have your travels impacted your goals? Are there any other places that you’d like to visit?

Lakhani: While I grew up in South Africa and England, I had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for roughly 15 years before moving to Moscow in 2004. Moving back to Silicon Valley is like coming home.

Traveling is a passion of mine, and I’ve been lucky to have experienced many cultures and  communities over the years. Personally, I find it very compelling that I am now a part of a business that provides online work opportunities to those communities. I’m excited about connecting personally with oDesk users online and on future excursions abroad. It looks like the Philippines is the only country represented on oDesk that hasn’t stamped my passport… yet!

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more