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Klarna’s laid-off workers are the latest casualty of tech’s cult of personality

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02.06.2022

Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the figure behind the buy-now, pay-later online shopping revolution, has sparked an outcry after he publicly posted a list of employees that Klarna had laid off. Last week, the Swedish fintech firm let 10% of its workforce go—about 700 employees in the United States and Europe—joining a number of tech players that have announced hiring freezes or job cuts as fears of a recession mount.

On both Twitter and LinkedIn, Siemiatkowski praised the work of his former employees and linked to a Google Sheet that contained contact details for about 600 of them, created as an outreach tool for recruiters by a coworker who survived the layoffs. Klarna tells Fast Company these workers filled this spreadsheet out with their own information, which included their names, old job titles, locations, and (initially) personal email addresses.

According to Klarna, the spreadsheet’s creator circulated the link and then the document “organically spread within Klarna.” “Sebastian heard about this from other Klarna employees, who shared the sheet internally and on social media,” a spokesperson says. “He decided to highlight it on his own public channels to increase visibility across his expansive network of employers and recruiters.”........

© Fast Company


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