Square CFO Sarah Friar joins Slack as first independent board member

Slack announced that it has added Square CFO Sarah Friar, the CFO of payments company Square, as its first independent board member, according to Recode.

This makes Friar the company’s first female director. Slack’s founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield said Friar’s background in enterprise and finance was the main reason she was hired.

Friar has previously held positions like senior VP of finance and strategy at Salesforce, managing director at Goldman Sachs, and business analyst at McKinsey & Company.

“As we get larger and have more shareholders, we have obviously wanted to increase governance,” said Butterfield. “While there has been a strong bias that our first independent director be a woman, Sarah’s background in banking, research, enterprise software, international growth and expansion, operational management in high growth environments and strategic finance is what makes her an ideal person to guide Slack to the next level.”

While Recode said that Friar could be helpful if and when Slack decides to goes public, Butterfield denied that the company would be taking steps in that direction this year.

Currently, Slack’s board consists of Butterfield and three of his venture investors: Accel’s Andrew Braccia, John O’Farrell of Andreessen Horowitz, and Social + Capital’s Mamoon Hammid.

Friar’s addition to Slack’s board comes at a time when the company is facing competition from tech giants like Microsoft. Microsoft recently launched the final version of Microsoft Teams, a chat tool that shares similar features with Slack. Microsoft is looking to fade Slack out with features like a cleaner user interface and integration of the company’s Office 365 package. In November 2016, Slack’s former CMO Bill Mecaitis, who was with the company since November 2014, quiety stepped down.

Feature photo via Recode

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.