A Letter From Our CEO

Hayden Brown
Hayden Brown
March 7, 2022
A Letter From Our CEO

As the world’s work marketplace, Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. In our more than 20 years of doing business, we have worked hard to bring our marketplace to more people, with the belief that when people have the ability to innovate their careers and work, they can reach their full potential. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine has challenged our mission, values, and our operational ability to bring economic empowerment to those who seek it. Upwork will be suspending operations in Russia and Belarus, starting today and taking full effect by May 1, 2022. 

The first step will be shutting down Upwork’s support for new business generation in Russia and Belarus. Over the next few days, freelancers and clients in Russia and Belarus will no longer be able to sign up for new accounts, initiate new contracts, and be visible in search. 

We honor the relationships that exist between our customers and recognize the swift adjustments that they will need to make as they process this announcement. As such, existing contracts with talent and clients in the region will remain open, with final billing due by May 1, 2022. 

We made this decision with the utmost consideration. From the beginning of the war, Upwork has been fervently working to support the safety, security, and well-being of our many team members in the region, as well as the business needs of our customers. We fully understand the significant impact this decision has on our Upwork community in Russia and Belarus, and we want these customers to know that if and when they are able to relocate to regions where we operate, we will be eager to support them in continuing their work on our platform. Additionally, should the geopolitical situation in Russia and Belarus change, we hope to be able to resume operations.

We are heartbroken and horrified by the invasion of Ukraine. Upwork is concurrently working on measures—both immediate and rolling out soon—to further support Ukrainian freelancers and the Ukrainian community, including:

  • A $1 million donation to Direct Relief International in support of the Ukrainian population.
  • Product enhancements to make it easier for Ukrainian freelancers to preserve the careers they have worked so hard to establish, whether or not they are currently able to work. 
  • Programs to make it easier for clients to maintain their existing relationships with and provide financial assistance to talent in Ukraine.
  • A $100,000 matching program for donations from our own team members to aid in humanitarian relief in Ukraine. 

While we continue to navigate these crucial decisions and actions, you can view communications via our Community Resource page, which we are updating frequently with new developments and FAQs.

Our hearts and support go out to all those affected by this senseless aggression against Ukraine. We hope that a path to peace is ahead for Ukraine, and that we are able to bring our mission back to Russia and Belarus in the future.


Hayden Brown
President & CEO

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Hayden Brown

Hayden Brown is president and CEO of Upwork, the world’s work marketplace. She was previously the Chief Product and Marketing Officer and held increasingly senior roles overseeing product, design, and marketplace after joining Upwork in 2011. She joined Upwork inspired by its mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. With a new era of work underway, Hayden is leading Upwork to help companies and talent unlock their full potential.

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