Bob Lee was an American businessman and software engineer who founded Cash App. He was the chief technology officer of Square and the chief product officer of MobileCoin.
On April 4, 2023, Lee was fatally stabbed in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of San Francisco.
Early life and career
Lee was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 20, 1979, to Rick "Ricky" Lee. Tim Oliver Lee is his brother. In 2019, following the death of Lee's mother, Rick moved to Mill Valley, California to live with Lee's family. Bob Lee and his father relocated once more to Miami in October 2022. While attending Lindbergh High School Lee wrote a 3D rendering engine in Turbo Pascal, and became known as "Crazy Bob" for his exuberant energy in playing water polo. Lee attended Southeast Missouri State University and pledged Sigma Chi. Rob Vescovo, former speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, was one of Lee's fraternity brothers.
In July 2001, while employed at Ajilon, Lee wrote a program for Microsoft IIS to defend servers from Code Red, at the time a rapidly spreading computer worm. Lee worked for Southeast Missouri State University as a web developer. By 2003 Lee was employed as a technical architect at AT&T. While at AT&T, Lee developed the aspect-oriented programming (AOP) framework dynaop similar to the Spring Framework for Java, featured in Oracle Magazine. dynaop served as the impetus for JavaServer Faces's (JSF) migration away from AOP.
Lee was employed at Google as a staff software engineer from October 2004 to January 2010, and helped develop the Android mobile operating system. Lee co-authored the dependency injection framework Guice with Kevin Bourrillion in 2006 while at Google to modularize AdWords. Lee developed Guice based on ideas he had for Apache Struts, for which he concurrently worked on. In 2008, Lee and Bourrillion were awarded the Jolt Award for their work on Guice. Lee transferred to the core libraries team in 2007 eventually leading the team. In May 2009, Lee created a Java dependency injection proposal with Rod Johnson, and he was also part of the expert group for a Java proposal which added lamda expressions, as well as another proposal to add concurrency to the language. Additionally Lee worked on Dalvik, an Android process virtual machine. During Oracle v. Google, Lee was called as a witness.
In January 2010, e-commerce company Square recruited Lee. He became the company's chief technology officer and led development on the company's Android app, eventually taking over development on Square's iOS app from now-deceased co-founder Tristan O'Tierney. After becoming the chief technology officer, Lee moved to San Francisco from his St. Louis, Missouri home. In 2013, he developed Cash App, then Square Cash. He left Square in 2014, investing in several tech startups, including Clubhouse, SpaceX, and Figma. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee helped the World Health Organization with its app. In 2021, he joined cryptocurrency payment firm MobileCoin as its chief product officer.