Irishwoman Sarah Friar joins the board of Slack

17 Mar 2017

Sarah Friar on stage at the Web Summit in Lisbon in November. Image: Web Summit/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Square CFO Sarah Friar has been appointed to the board of team messaging service Slack.

Sarah Friar is arguably one of the most powerful Irish executives in Silicon Valley today, and business communications platform Slack has appointed the Square CFO as its first independent board member.

Friar will be Slack’s first female director.

Slack, which is creating 100 new jobs in Dublin, aims to revolutionise how businesses work and communicate, taking the social tools young workers have become accustomed to and right-sizing them for the workplace in a fun and engaging way.

Life-changing, career-defining moves

Friar is the chief financial officer of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, which enables e-commerce payments on mobile devices.

Before joining Square, Friar worked in finance and strategy at Salesforce and, before that, Goldman Sachs.

Friar has been mooted in Silicon Valley circles as a likely successor to Jack Dorsey for the CEO role at Square should he ever decide to focus exclusively on Twitter.

Hailing from Northern Ireland, and the winner of a life-changing scholarship to study at Oxford, Friar was named Financial Woman of the Year in 2014.

Slack was founded by Canadian Stewart Butterfield. The platform emerged from a project management tool for Glitch, a gaming company that Butterfield shuttered in 2012.

Prior to Slack, Butterfield co-founded image-sharing site Flickr with Caterina Fake and Jason Classon in 2002, originally as a video games business. Flickr was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 and Butterfield stayed on as product manager for three years.

Last year, Slack raised $200m in a massive funding round that valued the company at $3.8bn.

Sarah Friar image: Web Summit/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years