Downsizing is becoming widespread in the technology sector, especially in the United States, since the war in Ukraine has triggered inflation and caused great economic instability worldwide. One of the companies that has recently dealt with a dismissal processaround 700, is the Swedish fintech Klarna, specializing in digital credit for retail purchases of up to three months.
But Klarna’s layoffs, unlike other technology companies that have also fired part of their employees such as Netflix, are notable for two particularities: on the one hand, the Swedish company has joined the trend of announcing them through a pre-recorded video on the one that informs all those affected at the same time; and, on the other, because the CEO of the company posted on LinkedIn a series of personal information of 570 of those employees, which could entail a violation of the right to data protection of all of them.
Data publication. The intention of the CEO of Klarna when publishing the data of these employees, apparently, was good: to make it easier for other companies to hire them. To do this, it disseminated through its LinkedIn profile a list hosted on Google Drive with the name, position, place of residence, link to the employee’s own social network account for professionals, their preferences regarding remote or face-to-face work and their personal emails.
“I hope everyone understands what a gold mine this document is. Some recruiters should ignore LinkedIn or other channels for a few days and put all their energy into this list. I am sure that these people will not be available for long, ”notes Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski in his profile.
Criticism. However, criticism has not been slow to appear for the way in which Siemiatkowski has tried to relocate his dismissed employees, a practice that is common in companies that have to fire workers that they consider competent for economic reasons, but that generally It is done through private channels. In fact, the person in charge of Klarna had to quickly remove the personal emails from the document, although the rest of the data is still available.
One of the first to criticize the publication of these data has been the Swedish financial union Finansforbundet, which has asked for explanations to the company. Likewise, several LinkedIn users have pointed out that the public exposure of information such as the personal email of these former employees is harmful to them.
A marketing action. If the initiative has been striking, and disastrous, it is no less curious that the original idea of publishing that list did not come from the company’s human resources department, but from the marketing department. In the comments of Siemiatkowski, the head of marketing at Klarna, on the LinkedIn post, J. Tyler Wilsonadmits that it was he who organized everything.
Therefore, the good intentions behind the publication of this list defended by its CEO remain in question, since if the idea started from marketing, it is an action to try to reduce the negative impact of layoffs on public opinion and improve the image of the company, and not an initiative whose main objective was to help the employees who are unemployed.
fire by video. On the other hand, with these dismissals Klarna has joined the ever-growing list of companies that consider that personally notifying the affected employee of the termination of the contract is a waste of time.
Siemiatkowski decided to fire the 700 affected workers at the same time, which represented around 10% of its workforce, through a pre-recorded video in which he pointed out that the company had to face these dismissals due to the development of the war in Ukraine, the sharp increase in inflation, the change in consumer habits, the volatility of the stock market and a probable recession.
Image | Anna Shvets