Klarna Employee Reviews about "middle management"

Updated Apr 29, 2020

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3.4
62%
Recommend to a Friend
51%
Approve of CEO
Klarna CEO and Founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski
Sebastian Siemiatkowski
183 Ratings
Pros
  • "Fast paced environment, freedom to try different ideas, teams composed of professionals with different skill sets(in 38 reviews)

  • "Killing checkout products and great people to work with(in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • "Poor middle management with low understanding of issues(in 15 reviews)

  • "the CEO; the Swedish version of Elizabeth Holmes (in some sense)(in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "middle management"

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  1. Helpful (9)

    "Fast paced, enjoyable co-workers, many opportunities"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Columbus, OH
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    In general a very team oriented company. Relaxed work environment. Startup feel.

    Cons

    Socially disconnected middle management. Lack of vertical communication within departments. Typical chaotic startup issues and fixes.

  2. Helpful (6)

    "OK Place"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Happy people - Semi good salary

    Cons

    - Poor middle management with low understanding of issues.


  3. Helpful (27)

    "The Sebastian cult"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    + you work with the latest tech + the majority of people on the individual contributor level are very smart and hard-working people + good benefits package + you learn a lot on a lot of levels (politics included)

    Cons

    - the CEO; the Swedish version of Elizabeth Holmes (in some sense). Over the last few years he has transformed from an inspiring leader to an arrogant copycat of Steve Jobs, who personally handles (i.e., micromanages) all important projects and fires people at will when they do not execute exactly what he orders. It is amazing to see how many C level executives have been fired. The ones remaining nowadays are hand picked individuals from the earlier years of Klarna (who grew with the company and the Sebastian cult mentality) and learned not to challenge him. - the majority of middle management must become YES-people as well (if they have not become already). I still do not understand why they hire competent people when all they want is someone to say "YES Sebastian, this is a great idea and I will execute it exactly the way you want me to. I know ... it doesn't matter if it is shady in terms of legal, compliance, privacy and if it will create huge technical debt that will eventually make us redo all the work from the beginning in a few years (which will eventually slow us down) ... if you want it now, I will do it now!" - the new operating model has segmented the company so much that eventually no one knows what the others are doing and everyone re-implements the wheel and does things in the way that will make them reach Sebastian's goal faster. Even if it makes no sense - the new operating model forces so much administration work to the team managers (or competence leads as they are called) that some of the smartest people in Klarna have become in reality glorified secretaries - a few year's ago product was harassing engineering with some seriously incompetent and arrogant product managers. Now they don't have to do that anymore ... product owns engineering completely. Engineering (or the "geeks" as Sebastian refers to them in some internal circles) gets to play with any cool toys they find out there on the internet as long as they can build pretty castles on the sand - do not expect career development opportunities (after a certain level) if you are not high five-ing everyone around you and shouting "Klarna is awesome". So many people have been playing this game and they even admit it in 1-1 conversations simply because they want to get a title that will help them step up to a new role in another company - all successes (real or fake) are celebrated but no lost deals or general losses are even ever mentioned. It feels that the company actively tries to hide problems and not learn from the mistakes of the past - you will work a lot. As a manager it is an unwritten rule that you have to pick up the phone and work at any given point (including during your vacation). This might become true even for individual contributors in some cases. The strangest thing is how the company has successfully managed to blur the limits between personal and professional time. I guess that is what Sebastian meant when he famously said "I do not believe in the work-life balance"

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "Senior Engineer"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Quick Decision making - Engineering Mindset - Talented Coworkers - Always on with latest technology - Encouragement of learning and development

    Cons

    - Seating Arrangement is horrible - work life balance - Room for growth is less - Focus on quantity instead quality - Middle management is a mess - Every one is lead and know-it-all culture

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  5. Helpful (9)

    ""Smoooth" from outside but not inside"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people Good HQ location Very fast growing company

    Cons

    Extremely bad and inexperienced middle management Many people work in positions that they are not qualified for Not as transparent as they usually want to present it Salaries and the benefits are not to die for

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  6. Helpful (8)

    "Great company with thounsands of ideas but..."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Center Advisor in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Klarna full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - daily breakfast buffet - super friendly and diligent people from the whole world. - a lot of "fun" and educational events (Kick off, Booost week, brown bags etc) - the Management is full of ideas of how to improve and get bigger - flexible working hours

    Cons

    - working hard will not get you a promotion (do nothing but get a coffee once a day with your team manager and you will get promoted) - lower salary (but Management says that you work at Klarna because of the fun people and not because of the money) - a lot of changes and sadly new ideas get released despite hundreds bugs (those might be amazing for the customer but it is just frustrating to work with it) - the Employee Survey shows how frustrated everyone is but nothing changes - unmotivated middle Management (maybe because they got the position despite being unqualified) - everything feels unorganised

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  7. Helpful (24)

    "Unprofessional and poor management"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Some smart people who tend to leave the company fairly quickly though..

    Cons

    Where to start.. the middle management is mostly completely unqualified. Expect huge egos and weird, even aggressive behaviour. No use in trying to address these issues and violation, what I got as an answer when I tried was "We haven't heard of this kind of incidents before". At Klarna you don't get promoted based on your skills or how you do your work, but based on the relationships you have with the management. You need to conform to the Klarna mold and that's the only way to move up, you don't even have to do a good job with your daily tasks.. Monotonous and brainless work that anyone can do, low salaries, lots of gossip, and overall childish behaviour. A toxic workplace that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

  8. Helpful (17)

    "A place to be a customer but not an employee"

    1.0
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Klarna full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Customer focused - Ambitious - Interesting products - Very high pace - High growth environment - Young environment - Constantly changing

    Cons

    - Burn-out are usual business and NO help afterwards - High work pressure - Changes are implemented fast and mostly not thought through - Lower than standard salary compared to very high expectations - Overtime is expected but not appreciated (not paid either) - Poor communication between departments - very poor compensation compared to competitors - poor leadership skills of managers - Micromanagement - Middle management is not qualified and selected by affection and not by qualifications - Internal politics causes restrains - Gender diversity attempt leads to discrimination ( Klarna always goes 100% in one direction, never the right amount)

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  9. Helpful (19)

    "Dont believe the Hype"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Klarna full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You work with some really smart people They are constantly trying to improve especially in HR due to the high staff turnover. like with most Swedish companies, free fruit, coffee, decent enough pensions and links into SEB for good mortgage rates etc.. People leave so quickly that you can get promoted very fast after joining ( limited pay rises, though)

    Cons

    Middle management to VP level are just trying to keep their jobs so tend to be very political as people leave so quickly smart people are put in the wrong jobs or promoted so they won't leave even though it is obvious they should not be in that role Over worked and under paid staff Departments work in silo's and very rarely work as one. Too many stakeholders in any project so things move very slowly unless a CXO is involved ( people are scared to make decisions).

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  10. Helpful (52)

    "The splendour and misery of Klarna"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Klarna for less than a year

    Pros

    - growing company with big ambitions and powerful self-PR - cool office in Stockholm city center (see above) - reasonable work/life balance (for engineers at least) - possibility to attend different conferences, team-buildings and corporate events, work with latest technologies;

    Cons

    - as it was indicated here many times - middle management is generally incompetent and malpracticing; engineering managers are mostly technical people inexperienced in management; managers above them are talkers, who show off to top-managers and investors, favouritism is flourishing; - the company does not value it's employees high, it has high attrition rates, justifying it by 'being in transformation stage between start-up and the corporation' - if you are really strong engineer, who desires above-the-market salary and opportunity to work with top-notch engineers - this company is not the right place for you...

Found 15 reviews