Irish tech leader Sarah Friar to leave Square to head up Nextdoor

Tyrone-born techie to become chief executive of little-known social network

Sarah Friar is to stay at Square into December to ensure an orderly transition

Sarah Friar is to stay at Square into December to ensure an orderly transition

 

Sarah Friar, the Tyrone-born chief financial officer at Square, is to leave the payments company to lead the relatively-unknown social network Nextdoor.

One of the most powerful Irish people working in Silicon Valley, Ms Friar helped steer Square through its initial public offering in late 2015.

San Francisco-based Square, which was founded and is run by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, was established in 2009 and Ms Friar has been with the company for the past six years.

“Sarah leaves us having established a culture of entrepreneurship and discipline across the entire company. She has been an amazing leader, partner, and friend, and we are grateful for all she’s done for Square,” said Mr Dorsey.

Ms Friar, who is from Sion Mills, will lead Nextdoor, a neighbourhood-focused social networking site that allows users to find out about everything from break-ins to available babysitters.

US neighbourhoods

Founded in 2010, Nextdoor has raised more than $285 million in funding from backers that include Comcast Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark. The site, which claims over 183,000 US neighbourhoods, established a presence in Holland, its first overseas market, in late 2016 and is now also active in the UK and Germany.

The company has an Irish-focused website and also established a Dublin-based company in October 2016.

David Viniar, Square’s lead independent director, the former chief financial officer of Goldman Sachs and current member of its board of directors, is to lead the search for the new CFO.

Ms Friar is to stay at Square into December to ensure an orderly transition.

“Sarah is one of the most highly regarded executives in Silicon Valley. She possesses that rare mix of proven business skills and authentic heart and soul,” said Nextdoor co-founder Nirav Tolia.