Neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor has named Sarah Friar as its new chief executive officer. Friar previously worked at Square, the payments technology company founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Over the past year, Nextdoor — a social network for people who live in the same community to privately discuss local issues — has begun offering a listing search feature and home valuations that put it in competition with Zillow. Its former CEO, Nirav Tolia, announced he was leaving in July and has spent the time since then helping find his replacement.
But now, Friar — who studied engineering at Oxford and spent more than a year at Goldman Sachs — is set to take over the company in December. Friar joined payment company Square in 2012 and has helped steer it in going public with an IPO in 2015. It has enjoyed success as a business-to-business company through its Square Reader point-of-sale devices and tablets.
“I’m saddened by the news,” Square CEO Jack Dorsey said in a note to employees that was uncovered by CNBC. “I was unrealistically expecting to be working with Sarah well into our late 90s (swapping the standup tables for rocking chairs).”
Square’s stocks also dropped by more than 8 percent after the news of Friar’s upcoming departure broke, according to CNBC.
Still, most analysts have agreed that Friar is an excellent choice for Nextdoor, which now serves over 200,000 neighborhoods across five countries. Along with her wide range of financial experience, Friar also sits on the boards of Slack and Walmart.
“Sarah is one of the most highly regarded executives in Silicon Valley with an exceptionally rare mix of proven business skills, and authentic heart and soul,” Tolia said in a statement to the press. “From the very beginning of our CEO search, she has been the top choice, and the board of directors and I feel exceptionally fortunate and excited for her to lead Nextdoor moving forward.”
Friar’s appointment is also a major move for an industry that often gets called out for lack of diversity: across the globe, only 10 percent of senior level positions and 5 percent of CEO positions are held by women, according to a report released in October by alternative assets data provider Preqin.