Bob Lee, a well-known tech executive and the former CTO of payments company Square, was stabbed to death in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday morning, multiple media outlets reported.
Dozens of friends and people who had met Lee, known affectionately as “Crazy Bob,” over the years expressed their grief and shock at his killing.
“I first met him in summer 2006 — he didn’t care that I was only 14 and we talked tech/geeked out about programming,” Dylan Field, CEO of design software company Figma, tweeted. “We remained connected over the years and he was an early supporter of Figma. It’s so hard to believe he is gone.”
Tech investor Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch and Crunchbase, said that he’d known Lee for 15 years and that his friend “was one of the best humans I’ve ever met.”
I’ve been friends with @crazybob for 15 years. He was one of the best humans I’ve ever met. I’m so glad we were able to spend time together recently. RIP. I hate what San Francisco has become. https://t.co/UH171tyx4N
— Michael Arrington 🏴☠️ (@arrington) April 5, 2023
Lee had been serving as chief product officer of MobileCoin, a crypto payments company, since 2021.
MobileCoin founder Joshua Goldbard said on Twitter that Lee was larger than life: “One of the things that made him truly special was his capacity to dream big and to summon those big crazy dreams into our world. Bob summoned the future into the present.”
3/ the thing is, Bob was so much more than a technologist. Bob was an artist.
Everywhere he went Bob breathed love into this world. He had so much deep heartfelt love.
Traveling with Bob was like seeing the world for the first time.
— Joshua Goldbard (@ThePBXGuy) April 5, 2023
Lee was originally from the San Francisco Bay Area but had recently moved to Miami, according to reports. His stay in San Francisco was only part of a brief business trip.
Previously, he had worked as an engineer at Google’s Android division, and was then hired by Square (now called Block) to develop its Android app. He went on to create Cash App (then called Square Cash) at the company, and served as the first CTO of Square.
In recent years, Lee served as an adviser and angel investor to startups. His Crunchbase profile lists multiple personal investments, including in Tile and Gather Labs.
The 43-year-old had children, enjoyed live music and traveled frequently, according to an obituary in The San Francisco Standard.
Josh McFarland, a general partner at venture firm Greylock, described Lee’s “infectious energy” — a sentiment shared by many others who recalled the founder as gregarious and generous with his time.
Back in 2017 when I was engaged in a final pivot of my last company, @crazybob offered to grab coffee and think through all the options with me.
He was a great human. As others are saying, truly a generous man with a big heart. RIP.
— Zach Tratar (@zachtratar) April 5, 2023
San Francisco police said they responded to reports of a stabbing at approximately 2:35 a.m. on Tuesday morning on Main Street near Harrison Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Officers found a man, later identified as Lee, suffering from apparent stab wounds. He was transferred to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Concerns about rampant crime in San Francisco helped spur a successful recall election of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin last year, with Brooke Jenkins, a progressive who vowed to take a tougher stance on prosecuting criminals, taking his place. Jenkins said Wednesday that her office was seeking further information about the assailant, and no arrests had been made.
I want to extend my sincerest condolences to Mr. Lee’s family members & loved ones for his loss. We do not tolerate these horrific acts of violence in San Francisco.
At this time no arrests have been made. Anyone w/ information is asked to call @SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444. https://t.co/J7V8N4gake
— Brooke Jenkins 謝安宜 (@BrookeJenkinsSF) April 5, 2023
Photo courtesy of MobileCoin.
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