Bob Lee — This week, the tech industry is grieving the passing of a significant figure.
Square’s former chief technology officer, Bob Lee, who was instrumental in the introduction of Cash App, was allegedly assassinated.
He was stabbed to death in San Francisco.
Josh Goldbard, CEO of MobileCoin and Lee’s current employer, verified Bob Lee’s death.
In 2021, the former chief technology officer will join MobileCoin as head product officer.
“Our dear friend and colleague, Bob Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 43, survived by a loving family and collection of close friends and collaborators,” Goldberg said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
“Bob was a dynamo, a force of nature. Bob was the genuine article.”
“He was made for the world that is being born right now, he was a child of dreams, and whatever he imagined, no matter how crazy, he made real.”
“We will miss you Bob. We love you.”
Rick Lee, Bob Lee’s father, shared the news on Facebook, typing:
“I just lost my best friend.”
He went on to explain that Bob died early Tuesday on a San Francisco street.
“Bob would give you the shirt off his back,” Rick wrote.
“He would never look down on anyone and adhered to a strict no-judgment philosophy.”
Rick Lee also thanked everyone who came out and provided their support to his son, saying he will be missed by everyone who knew him.
Reaction and investigation
San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a statement on Wednesday, calling Bob Lee’s death a terrible tragedy.
The police are investigating the death, according to Breed, and further information will be released soon.
Officers responded to the stabbing incident early Tuesday morning, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
They discovered a 43-year-old adult male victim with stab wounds in San Francisco’s Rincon neighborhood.
“Officers rendered aid and summoned medics to the scene,” the police statement said.
“The victim was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.”
“Despite efforts by first responders and medical personnel, the victim succumbed to his injuries.”
According to multiple local news outlets, Bob Lee was the victim, said an anonymous police tip.
As a result, the criminal inquiry is ongoing, and no arrests have been made.
San Francisco and crime
San Francisco is working hard to recover from the consequences of the epidemic.
However, an increase in crime has hampered its growth.
Preliminary police data show that 12 individuals were slain in the city in 2023, a 20% increase over the same period in 2022.
San Francisco had 56 murders in 2022, the same as in 2021.
Although Goldbard did not elaborate on Bob Lee’s death in his message, he did note in a subsequent Twitter thread:
“As a lifelong Bay Area resident I have more questions than answers tonight.”
“I don’t know how to fix what’s wrong, but I know something isn’t working in our grey city.”
“Bob left this world too soon.”
Tech world mourns
When the news of Bob Lee’s death broke, many individuals in the tech industry were shocked and saddened.
“It’s so hard to believe he’s gone,” Figma CEO Dylan Field tweeted, recalling his first encounter with Lee in 2006.
Meanwhile, Launchpad Capital’s Ryan Gilbert characterized Lee as “one of a kind.”
“May his memory be a blessing,” Gilbert tweeted.
In a tweet, MMA fighter Jake Shields paid respect to Bob Lee.
Elon Musk was intrigued by Shields’ text, causing him to respond:
“Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.”
Musk also mentioned San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.
Square (now Block) CEO Jack Dorsey responded to Nostr, a decentralized social media platform.
“Heartbreaking,” he wrote. “Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App.”
Square’s initial chief technology officer was Bob Lee.
He formerly worked at Google, where he was in charge of the Android development team.