Square Inc. named Activision Blizzard Inc. executive Amrita Ahuja as chief financial officer, replacing Sarah Friar, who stepped down from her role as Jack Dorsey’s No. 2 at the digital-payments company last month.
Ahuja, 39, spent more than eight years at video-game maker Activision Blizzard, most recently serving as CFO of the Blizzard Entertainment unit, which has developed popular titles including “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch.” She has also held various roles at Fox Networks Group, Walt Disney Co. and Morgan Stanley.
Shares of San Francisco-based Square, which have climbed more than 40% in the past year, rose 1.5% in extended trading after the announcement.
Square’s shares tanked in October after Friar said she was leaving to run neighborhood social network Nextdoor.com Inc. During her six-year tenure as CFO, she was seen as pivotal to the company’s stability, growth and expansion beyond payments processing.
The CFO position is regarded as especially crucial at Square because Dorsey, its founder and chief executive, simultaneously serves as CEO of Twitter Inc. Ahuja will take over the CFO role as Square pushes into new areas in financial services and continues to grow internationally.
“In Amrita, we have found an amazing, multidimensional business leader,” Dorsey said Thursday in a statement. “Amrita brings the ability to consider and balance opportunities across our entire business, and she will help strengthen our discipline as we invest, build, and scale.”
Activision Blizzard’s shares have fallen more than 30% in the past year. Ahuja is the second executive to leave the Santa Monica company this week — on Monday, Activision abruptly said it was firing CFO Spencer Neumann for causes unrelated to financial reporting. Neumann was named to the same job at Netflix Inc. two days later.