OpenAI appoints Northern Ireland executive Sarah Friar as chief financial officer

Prior to her appointment, Friar was CEO of Nextdoor, a U.S. social networking site for neighborhoods.

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

Friar, originally from Northern Ireland, will join OpenAI as CFO.

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

Friar previously served as CFO of Square (renamed Block), the fintech co-founded by Jack Dorsey. A graduate of Oxford and Stanford universities, she also worked at Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Salesforce.

Immediately prior to her appointment at OpenAI, Friar was CEO of Nextdoor, a social networking site for neighborhoods, a position she has held since 2018. She also serves on the boards of Walmart and Consensys, is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and co-chairs Stanford’s Digital Economy Lab.

“I am honored to join a team that is exceptionally talented and mission-focused,” Friar said upon her appointment. “My goal is to help OpenAI continue to excel at what it does best – producing the highest level of science and collaboration to maximize the benefits of AI tools for all.”

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

A co-founder of the Libra cryptocurrency, Weil also served as 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 deep experience that will enable OpenAI to scale our operations, strategize for the next phase of growth, and provide our teams with the resources they need to continue to grow,” said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

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