Square Loses a Top Executive in Surprise Departure

Stunning the mobile payments industry on Friday, news emerged from Square that company COO Keith Rabois will be departing the company.

Making matters more peculiar is the fact that no explanation was given for the decision. The rumor mill, however, suggests that lingering tension between Rabois and CEO Jack Dorsey contributed to the decision, although it’s difficult to confirm this given what the departing executive said this morning.

“It is amazing what Square has accomplished since August of 2010,” Rabois said in a written statement delivered to press on Friday. “When I joined, there were 17 engineers all reporting flatly to Jack. The local coffee shop served as our interview room. Leading our amazing crew has been the most rewarding professional journey of my life. I am forever grateful to Jack, for his confidence in me and to each and every member of the team for allowing me to learn from them.”

“But every day matters,” he added, “And it is better at this point for me to be doing something different every day. As a result, I’ve decided to resign from Square. I am very excited about what lies ahead for the company. Square could not be better poised for greatness. I will have more to share about my next opportunity soon.”

With that, Rabois was gone. As of this writing, the plan calls for Square CFO Sarah Friar to become acting COO.

What do you think prompted the sudden departure of Square’s second-in-command?