All Things Upwork

We’re excited! Today we’re announcing that we’ve signed an agreement to merge with Elance.

First things first: we’ll continue to serve you on, and Elance customers will continue to work on In other words, oDesk and Elance will operate separately and as usual, even after the merger is complete.

Why, then, are we putting the two companies together?

The answer is pretty simple: we think we can do a better job this way. We are both inspired by a similar vision: to deliver online work experiences that create freedom and boundless opportunity for clients and freelancers everywhere.

The merger has not yet closed, but here are the kinds of things you can look forward to:

Significant technology investments. This includes tools for more successful hiring, seamless online collaboration, better mobile support and freelancer skills development.
Higher quality results. With our combined expertise in engineering and data science, you will enjoy a host of quality improvements, such as superior job and freelancer recommendations over time.
Participation in how we evolve. Please join us in crafting the future together. Email me personally at Tell me your likes, dislikes, suggestions and comments about oDesk — and about Elance if you’ve tried it too. We’ll reflect feedback in future innovations and share back what you’ve taught us in an upcoming blog post.

I also have a personal announcement. I’ve decided that after the merger closes I will step aside and hand the reins of the merged company to Fabio Rosati, Elance’s CEO. I will remain involved as a strategic advisor. We have been spirited business rivals over the years, but I have always respected Fabio. I could not possibly imagine a more dedicated and capable CEO to oversee the merged company. oDesk executive chairman Thomas Layton will also be a leader of the new combined company, continuing his same role.

We’ve prepared a Q&A in case you have more questions. Please note that the closing of the merger, expected to occur in Q1 2014, is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions (including regulatory review and approval). In the meantime, I am so proud of what our community has accomplished and excited to reach new heights by teaming with Elance. You have my promise that we will work harder than ever to make sure that YOU, our customers, partners, team members and friends truly love the way you work!

Gary Swart
oDesk CEO


Gary Swart

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace. Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive, fueled by his extensive experience working with startups and small businesses that use oDesk, as well as by mentoring entrepreneurs and business school… read more