Bob Lee, the tech entrepreneur responsible for creating the mobile payment service Cash App, was tragically stabbed to death on Tuesday morning in a wealthy area of San Francisco, which happens to be the district of Representative Nancy Pelosi. The 43-year-old father of two was previously the chief technology officer of Square before his untimely passing.
Lee was attacked in the early hours of the morning, around 2:35 am, in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of the city, according to the San Francisco Police. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Lee with multiple stab wounds. He was transported to a nearby hospital, but unfortunately, he passed away from his injuries.
As of early Wednesday, no arrests had been made, and the police have not released any details regarding a suspect. Lee’s friend and mixed martial arts champion, Jake Shields, disclosed that Lee had been walking at the time of the attack.
Shields wrote on Twitter, “He was in the ‘good’ part of the city and appeared to have been targeted in a random mugging/attack.”
The Rincon Hill neighborhood, where the attack occurred, has a median house price of $1.4 million, according to realtor.com.
In addition to his role as the creator of Cash App, Bob Lee had also served as the chief product officer of MobileCoin, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency company, since November 2021. This information was confirmed through his LinkedIn page.
Lee was a well-known member of the software development community in the Bay Area, having worked on several notable projects throughout his career. Despite his connections to San Francisco, Lee had recently moved to Miami before his untimely death. The San Francisco Standard wrote Lee as “a longtime member of the Bay Area software development community who had recently moved to Miami.”
According to a friend of the deceased executive, he had made the decision to extend his business trip by an additional day in the city before the fatal attack occurred.
“I’m still in shock,” the friend stated. “No way he did anything to provoke this and I feel like he would just hand his money and watch to a mugger.”
Elon Musk, alongside other prominent figures in the tech industry, expressed their outrage at the tragic stabbing of Bob Lee. In response to a tweet by Jake Shields, Musk strongly criticized the city of San Francisco for the rampant and ongoing “violent crime” that is plaguing the area.
“Many people I know have been severely assaulted,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.”
In his criticism of San Francisco’s high rates of violent crime, Elon Musk posed a direct question to the city’s district attorney, Brooke Jenkins. Musk inquired if the city was “taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat offenders.”
Jack Dorsey, the founder of Block, which owns Cash App, shared a confirmation of Bob Lee’s passing in a post on the decentralized social media platform Nostr. Lee was the original chief technology officer at Square, the company that later became Block.
Following the tragic news of Bob Lee’s passing, tributes from his colleagues and co-workers have been pouring in, with MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard describing him as “a force of nature.”
“Bob was a force of nature. Helped to birth Android and CashApp into our world,” Goldbard said.
“Moby was his dream: a privacy-protecting wallet for the 21st Century. I will miss him every day.”
Bill Barhydt, the CEO of Abra Global, fondly remembers Bob Lee as a “generous decent human being who didn’t deserve to be killed.” Lee was a father to two young girls, adding to the tragedy of his passing.
Bob Lee had a distinguished career in the tech industry, having worked at Google, where he led Android’s core library team and was instrumental in launching the world’s most widely used operating system. His profile on MobileCoin’s official website attests to this fact.
Later in his career, Lee founded the social network Present and became a successful investor, backing companies such as Figma, Clubhouse, Beeper, and Faire.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Lee was at the forefront of the fight against the virus. He assisted the World Health Organization with their mobile app and was also involved in the development of an at-home testing company. Lee’s dedication to using his skills to help others will be remembered by many.