Sarah Friar, the longtime CFO of payments company Square, is making a major tech industry move, joining social network Nextdoor as its chief executive officer.
During her six years at Square, Friar guided Square through an initial public offering — an experience she may repeat at Nextdoor, where she will replace co-founder Nirav Tolia as CEO.
“Sarah is one of the most highly regarded executives in Silicon Valley,” Tolia said in a news release. “She possesses that rare mix of proven business skills and authentic heart and soul.”
Square CEO Jack Dorsey lamented the departure of Friar, who was often described as his right-hand woman at Square. “I was unrealistically expecting to be working with Sarah well into our late 90s, swapping the standup tables for rocking chairs,” he told employees in a memo.
“Sarah isn’t just a world-class CFO,” he added. “She’s a multidimensional leader who considered our entire business.”
TechCrunch said the hiring “looks like a smart move by Nextdoor,” noting that “The company has soared into unicorn terrain, but it also seemingly needs to generate more revenue before it can be taken public.”
Friar, a native of Northern Ireland who studied engineering at Oxford University, moved to Silicon Valley in 2000 to work for Goldman Sachs as a software analyst. After 11 years with the firm, she spent a year at Salesforce as senior vice president, finance, and strategy, before joining Square in July 2012.
Tolia noted that Square at the time was “about the same size as Nextdoor is today. Six years later, Square has over 3,000 employees, a market cap of $35 billion, and operates an ecosystem that empowers small businesses around the world.”
“Through it all, Sarah (and her fellow Squares) have relied on a mission-driven approach, the importance of putting people first, and a genuine desire to make the world a better place,” he added. “Nextdoor aspires to follow a similar path.”
Nextdoor provides social networking services for local neighborhoods. It has raised $285 million from investors over its eight-plus years, including from Insight Venture Partners, Benchmark, Shasta Ventures, Tiger Global Management, and Kleiner Perkins.