May 31, 2022

The roles Klarna is cutting down on

The company is losing 10% of its staff — but some departments are losing more jobs than others

Mimi Billing

3 min read

Even Europe’s most valuable startup has felt the bite of rising inflation and economic uncertainty. On Monday, May 23, Klarna’s CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski announced it will lay off 10% of its global workforce.

As many as 700 people will be affected. Siemiatkowski said that no one in Sweden has been fired, but instead offered severance pay and voluntary redundancy.

Over 550 “Klarnauts” around the world who have accepted this package have volunteered to have their names added to a google spreadsheet, organised by a Klarna CRM. The total number of employees who have accepted packages is likely to be higher.


On Monday May 30, Siemiatkowski shared the document in a post on social media. The spreadsheet includes the former employees' personal email addresses, and comments under the post criticised the Klarna CEO for sharing the file.

"I feel the exposure of thousands of email addresses in a public document is not so smart. I’d suggest to make the list available to recruiters that ask for it and not to the whole internet," one comment reads.

"The creation of this list is a clear sign of how poorly managed this 'change' has been implemented that has forced people to desperately post their contact details. It is still a good job market and under controlled conditions, every single person on the list had found a new opportunity without stress and pressure your management has put them in," reads another.

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Klarna employees are often shy to talk to the media, but in the comments under Siemiatkowski's post some felt free to speak their minds.

"I left Klarna one month after I joined. Best decision I made. Klarna is the most chaotic place I’ve ever been a part of, and knew immediately that something like a big layoff was just a matter of time... These people left their previous jobs, changed their living circumstances to come be part of your vision. And Sebastian Siemiatkowski, you see them as nothing but numbers. That is so demoralising, dehumanising and disgusting," wrote one former employee.

The spreadsheet's organised deleted the personal email address column soon after.

Talent and recruitment top layoff list

The database indicates which departments have been most affected by the job cuts.

Unsurprisingly, a large chunk of roles are within hiring. Of the 497 roles listed in the document when Sifted saw it at the time of publication, 90 belonged to people working on recruitment and talent acquisition. Within business development and operations, 82 people have agreed to the compensation package.

Within tech, 89 employees have lost their jobs. Out of those, there is an even spread between data analysis, quality process and designers. Solution and software engineers have been hit harder, with 44 people so far accepting to leave.

In marketing, brand and copy, 41 people have agreed to leave.

Out of the 497 employees who have added their names to the document, 407 are based in Europe. Outside Europe, employees based in New York and Columbus in Ohio have been most affected.

This article was originally published on May 23 and updated on May 31. Mimi Billing is Sifted’s Nordic correspondent and tweets from @MimiBilling

Mimi Billing

Mimi Billing is a senior reporter at Sifted. She covers the Nordics and healthtech, and can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn