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Cash App creator and tech exec stabbed to death while in San Francisco for ‘quick visit’

Bob Lee

Bob Lee, pictured giving a speech on journey from Cash App to MobileCoin (YouTube/screengrab)

The creator of the popular Cash App was stabbed to death in the early morning on Tuesday in San Francisco, California.

Bob Lee, most recently MobileCoin’s Chief Product Officer, was not identified by name in the San Francisco Police Department’s brief statement on the violent crime. In the initial alert about the homicide, the victim was described only as a 43-year-old man.

“On April 4, 2023, at approximately 2:35 a.m., San Francisco Police officers from Southern Station responded to the 300 block of Main Street for a report of a stabbing. Officers arrived on scene and located a 43-year-old adult male victim suffering from apparent stab wounds,” police said. “Officers rendered aid and summoned medics to the scene. 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.”

But sources reportedly in the know have since confirmed that Lee was the stabbing victim, and those who knew and worked with the tech exec are mourning his loss. Lee had reportedly returned to San Francisco from Miami for a “quick visit.”

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt called Lee’s death “devastating.”

“Bob was a dad, the former CTO of Square where he created Cash App & CTO of Mobile Coin,” Barhydt said. “He was a generous decent human being who didn’t deserve to be killed.”

MobileCoin founder Joshua Goldbard eulogized Lee in a thread, calling his friend “so much more than a technologist.”

“Bob was an artist,” Goldbard wrote. “Everywhere he went Bob breathed love into this world. He had so much deep heartfelt love.”

“I will never forget Bob. There will never be anyone quite like him. As a lifelong Bay Area resident I have more questions than answers tonight,” he added. “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.”

San Francisco police have neither made an arrest in the case nor revealed any more information about the homicide. Police encouraged anyone who may have critical information about the case to dial 415-575-4444 or text “SFPD” and a message to TIP411.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk reacted to one post on Lee’s stabbing death by saying “horrific” violent crime has affected “many” people he knows in San Francisco.

Bob Lee’s LinkedIn described the late executive as a “[s]tartup advisor and angel investor.”

“Former CTO of Square. Created Cash App. Created Guice. Added several features to the Java programming language and platform (like lambdas),” Lee said, listing career accomplishments. “Led the core library development for the first few years of Android. Investor in SpaceX, Clubhouse, Tile, Figma, Faire, Orchid, Addressable, Nana, Ticket Fairy, Gowalla, Asha, SiPhox, Netswitch, Found, et al.”

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.