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Square CFO Friar Joins Board of New Relic

A class reunion, sort of.

National Retail Federation

New Relic, the fast-growing software monitoring company, announced today that it has tapped Sarah Friar, the CFO and head of operations at Square, to join its board of directors.

Friar is a former head of finance and strategy at, and worked there with Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, who joined New Relic as chief revenue officer last month. Friar has also worked at Goldman Sachs.

She will be the company’s second independent director, in addition to Peter Currie, which is typically a key milestone on the path to an initial public offering. Though if you ask New Relic’s CEO Lew Cirne about it, he’ll insist he’s in no hurry to do that. “We definitely want a world-class board, and Sarah has those chops in spade. But we’re not thinking about timing, and an IPO isn’t what’s driving our decisions,” Cirne said.

New Relic creates software designed to monitor the performance of other software. It runs in the cloud, and it has become a hugely popular service for tracking the second-by-second performance of applications created by 70,000 customers.

It got a huge jolt of free publicity when a screen shot of New Relic appeared in a Dec. 1 progress report concerning efforts to fix and improve the U.S. government’s website.

Cirne set out to get Friar on the board as one of three goals at New Relic last year. The other two: Launch Rubicon, the company’s new software monitoring product, which he did in October; the second was to hire Koplow-McAdams, which happened in December.

Friar says her first professional love was enterprise software. She covered that world as an analyst for Goldman-Sachs. “Even though I’m a CFO and people tend of think of me in the context of finance, I’m a software nerd at heart,” she said.

Cirne first came to know Friar via the Stanford Business School. There, Friar was a classmate of Benchmark’s Peter Fenton, who led New Relic’s earliest funding round in 2008, and who now serves as its chairman. And while Cirne didn’t attend, when he was visiting Sand Hill Road to raise money to start his first company Wily Technology (which he sold to CA Technologies for $375 million in 2006), he crashed overnight on the dorm room floors of friends who were. “And I always managed to pick a night when there were social events, so I went to all their parties. Everyone knew who I was but they never saw me in class,” Cirne said.

New Relic has raised a combined $175 million in venture capital and private equity financing. The latest round was an $80 million mezzanine round led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from T. Rowe Price.

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