Sarah Friar, the highly thought-of chief financial officer of Square, was considered to be a potential replacement for Jack Dorsey as CEO should Dorsey ever decide to run Twitter full-time (Dorsey is CEO of both Square and Twitter), but that won’t happen anymore.
Square announced Wednesday that Friar is leaving the company to become the CEO of Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network that recently expanded into real estate.
Observers of Square say that Friar was one of the company’s most valuable employees, one who allowed Dorsey to split time between Twitter and Square due to her acumen and skill.
One sign of how much Friar meant to Square is how investors reacted to the news of her looming departure. Square announced Friar’s move after trading closed on Wednesday. Square’s stock then fell approximately 10% during Thursday’s trading.
Friar’s position in the company placed her at the top of a supposed shortlist to run Square if Dorsey left. But, according to Dorsey, Friar has always wanted to run a company. And now she’ll get her chance at Nextdoor.
In a blog posted Wednesday, Tolia said the company is “thrilled” to be able to add Friar into the CEO role. And Tolia provided a window into just how big he thinks the company can become.
“I met Sarah almost exactly four years ago and knew immediately that she was a special leader and special person. From the very beginning of our CEO search, she was the top choice, and the board of directors and I feel exceptionally fortunate and excited for her to lead Nextdoor moving forward,” Tolia writes.
“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,” Tolia continues. “When she joined Square as CFO in 2012, they were about the same size as Nextdoor is today. Six years later, Square has over 3,000 employees, a market cap of $35B, and operates an ecosystem that empowers small businesses around the world.”
According to Tolia, Square relies on a “mission-driven approach, the importance of putting people first, and a genuine desire to make the world a better place,” and that’s what he wants Nextdoor to do too.
“Nextdoor aspires to follow a similar path, and I can’t wait for you all to meet Sarah and hear firsthand about her passion for our mission and optimism for the size and scale of company we can build,” Toila writes.
“The future is exceptionally bright for Nextdoor. We’ve never been more well-positioned to achieve our potential, both as a massive business and unifying force for communities around the world,” Toila concludes. “I am thrilled that Sarah Friar will be leading the way.”
According to Square, Friar will stay on with the company until December to ensure an “orderly transition” to its new CFO, which the company is searching for now.
“As Square’s CFO, Sarah steered us through an IPO and helped build a growing ecosystem of businesses that will scale into the future,” Dorsey said in a release. “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.”
Friar is also quoted in Square’s release, and given that it came from Square, her comments are focused there and not on Nextdoor.
“These past six years at Square have been an incredible journey,” Friar said in the Square release. “It is rare to work at a company that aligns such a meaningful purpose with unbounded market opportunity. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented executive team, who pushed me and the company to move further and faster every day.”