OpenAI appoints Northern Irish exec Sarah Friar as CFO

6 days ago

Sarah Friar in 2018. Image: Stephen McCarthy/MoneyConf via Sportsfile/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Prior to her appointment, Friar was CEO of Nextdoor, a US social networking service for neighbourhoods.

OpenAI has appointed two new executives, Sarah Friar and Kevin Weil, to lead its finance and product teams respectively.

Friar, who is originally from Northern Ireland, will join OpenAI as its chief financial officer.

“She will lead a finance team that supports our mission by providing continued investment in our core research capabilities and ensuring that we can scale to meet the needs of our growing customer base and the complex and global environment in which we are operating,” a post by the company reads.

Friar has previously served as chief financial officer at Square (rebranded as Block), the fintech co-founded by Jack Dorsey. An alumna of Oxford and Stanford universities, she has also worked at Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Salesforce.

Immediately prior to her OpenAI appointment, Friar was CEO of Nextdoor, a social networking service for neighbourhoods, a role she had since 2018. She is also on the boards of Walmart and Consensys, a fellow of the Aspen Institute and co-chair of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab.

“I’m honoured to join a team that is uniquely talented and mission-focused,” Friar said upon her appointment. “My goal is to help OpenAI continue excelling at what it does best – producing top-tier research and collaborating to maximise the benefits of AI tools for everyone.”

Meanwhile, Weil joins the ChatGPT creator as its chief product officer. Before this, he was president of product and business at Planet Labs, an Earth imaging company based in San Francisco.

A co-founder of cryptocurrency Libra, Weil has also been vice-president of product for Novi at Facebook, vice-president of product at Instagram and senior vice-president of product at Twitter.

“Sarah and Kevin bring a depth of experience that will enable OpenAI to scale our operations, set a strategy for the next phase of growth and ensure that our teams have the resources they need to continue to thrive,” said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

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Sarah Friar in 2018. Image: Stephen McCarthy/MoneyConf via Sportsfile/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic