Prominent Silicon Valley Executive Bob Lee Fatally Attacked in San Francisco

Russell Kidson
Apr 6, 2023

Bob Lee, the Chief Product Officer of MobileCoin Inc., a cryptocurrency startup, and a prominent figure in Silicon Valley, was fatally attacked in San Francisco. This tragic incident led the top law enforcement official of the city to denounce it as a pointless act of violence.


According to a statement on the San Francisco Police Department's website, officers received a call at 2:35 a.m. and found a 43-year-old man with stab wounds. Unfortunately, despite being taken to the hospital, the individual passed away.

When contacted by Bloomberg, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department declined to provide additional information due to the ongoing investigation of the homicide. The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the incident, which involved the stabbing of Bob Lee.

Prominent Silicon Valley Executive Bob Lee Fatally Attacked in San Francisco

MobileCoin's CEO, Joshua Goldbard, stated on Wednesday that Lee is survived by his "loving family and a group of close friends and collaborators." Goldbard also praised Lee, describing him as "the quintessential creator, leader, and consummate hacker" who was well-suited for the new world. He added that Lee's impact would extend far beyond his brief time on earth.

Bob Lee had an illustrious career in the tech industry, having served as the first Chief Technology Officer of Square, the startup co-founded by Jack Dorsey, which is now known as Block Inc. During his time at Square, Lee created CashApp, a tool for money transfers that also enables users to purchase Bitcoin and stocks. Prior to that, he worked as a software engineer for Google, where he played a crucial role in the development of Android.

Lee's contributions to the development of Android and CashApp earned him legendary status among young tech professionals starting their careers, according to Max Rhodes, who worked closely with Lee on CashApp after joining Square in his early twenties.

Max Rhodes spoke highly of Bob Lee, saying that he was revered by everyone and had an exceptional ability to solve problems that others couldn't. According to Rhodes, the best engineers all wanted to work with Lee.

Lee continued to support Rhodes after leaving Square, investing in his startup Faire. Rhodes credits Lee with contributing to his success, saying he wouldn't be where he is today without him.

Dylan Field, the CEO of Figma, also expressed his grief at Lee's passing, remembering how Lee had provided early support to his company. Field took to Twitter to say that it was difficult to accept that Lee was no longer with us.

Although the San Francisco Police Department has emphasized that the investigation into Bob Lee's death is still ongoing, the incident is a major setback to the city's efforts to improve its image and counter the perception of being a crime-ridden place, especially in the downtown neighborhood close to the financial district where the attack took place.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Mayor London Breed emphasized that public safety is a top priority for the city, even as it faces a widening budget deficit and planned spending cuts. Breed stressed that she is committed to ensuring that the police department has adequate resources to carry out its duties.

In the past year, Mayor London Breed lent her support to a campaign aimed at recalling Chesa Boudin, the city's progressive District Attorney. Breed, along with others, criticized Boudin for not pursuing criminal cases with greater vigor.

For more information, you can read about the new San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who has vowed to combat the city's rising crime rates.

Elon Musk, who has been openly critical of San Francisco since taking over Twitter, recently directed his criticism at Brooke Jenkins, Boudin's successor.


‘Very sorry to hear that. Many people I know have been severely assaulted.

Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.

Is the city taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat violent offenders @BrookeJenkinsSF?’

-Elon Musk


In response to Elon Musk's criticism, Brooke Jenkins, the current District Attorney of San Francisco, defended her office's approach to prosecuting violent crimes and repeat offenders.

Jenkins, who previously worked as a homicide prosecutor, asserted that she has a thorough understanding of the investigative and prosecutorial processes involved in such cases. She also stated that her office does not offer overly lenient plea deals to individuals who commit violent crimes or who have a history of repeat offenses.



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