Bob Lee, the creator of Block’s money transfer app Cash App, was killed in San Francisco yesterday (April 4), his father Rick Lee said in a Facebook post today (April 5). He was 43.
The San Francisco Police Department reported that a 43-year-old man was stabbed at around 2:35 a.m. yesterday and later died at a hospital. The police didn’t name the man and haven’t made any arrests, though homicide investigators are looking into the stabbing.
Lee built a career as a startup investor and tech executive in Silicon Valley. He was the first chief technology officer of Square, the fintech company founded by Jack Dorsey that was renamed Block in 2021. Lee worked at Square between 2010 and 2014 and created Cash App during his tenure.
Before Square, Lee worked at Google for six years, where he helped develop the Android mobile operating system, according to his LinkedIn page and the Wall Street Journal.
Lee’s last role was chief product officer at MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency company based in San Francisco.
On the investment side, Lee was an investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Figma, the software company acquired by Adobe for $20 billion last year.
Tech executives react to Bob Lee’s death
In a post on Nostr, a decentralized social network site, Jack Dorsey said he’s been getting calls about the news. “Heartbreaking. Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App,” the Block CEO wrote.
“I am completely overcome by sadness by this,” Mike Brock, a product manager at Block, posted on Nostr. “He personally recruited me. He introduced me to Jack [Dorsey]. He made me a better engineer. He parties and loved life like no person I knew.”
“Bob was a child of dreams, and whatever he imagined, no matter how crazy, he made real. Bob was made for the new world,” Joshua Goldbard, MobileCoin’s founder and CEO, said in a statement today.
“I first met him in summer 2006—he didn’t care that I was only 14 and we talked tech and geeked out about programming,” Dylan Field, Figma’s CEO, said in a tweet today. “We remained connected over the years and he was an early supporter of Figma. It’s hard to believe he is gone.”
Lee’s murder raises renewed concerns about public safety in San Francisco.
“Very sorry to hear that. Many people I know have been severely assaulted,” Elon Musk tweeted today, tagging San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.”
Garry Tan, the CEO of startup incubator Y Combinator, urges people who last saw Lee to provide information to the police. “If you interacted with Bob Lee on Monday or Tuesday in SF, or if you have video or were in the area of Rincon Hill Tuesday morning, please send it to the SFPD. Do not publish it, send it directly to SFPD,” he tweeted today.
“As a lifelong Bay Area resident I have more questions than answers tonight,” Goldbard tweeted yesterday. “I don’t know how to fix what’s wrong, but I know something isn’t working in our grey city.”