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Klarna appoints Sequoia Capital partner as chairman

Michael Moritz will be joined by three new board members, Omid R. Kordestani, Lise Kaae and Sarah Smith in a shakeup of Klarna’s board.

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Michael Moritz/Sequoia Capital

Buy-now-pay-later giant Klarna has today appointed Michael Mortiz, partner at Sequoia Capital, as the new chairman of its board of directors.

Moritz is joined by three new board members, Omid R. Kordestani, former executive chairman of Twitter, Lise Kaae from the Bestseller Group and senior advisor at Goldman Sachs, Sarah Smith. 

The new chairman has sat on Klarna’s board since 2010 when Sequoia first invested in the fintech and has served as a Sequoia’s board representative in a number of its investments, such as Google, LinkedIn, PayPal, Yahoo, Strava and Stripe.

New board member Kordestani also currently sits on Twitter’s board of directors and previously was the senior vice president and chief business officer at Google.

Fellow new appointee Kaae is the CEO of Heartland A/S, the investment arm of the Bestseller Group and was previously the CFO of the Bestseller Group and sat on the board of directors of Swedish banking giant Handelsbanken between 2015 and 2020.

Joining Kordestani and Kaae, Smith was previously on the Management Committee of Goldman Sachs, where she served as chief compliance officer, controller and chief accounting officer and has previously served on the US Treasury Department’s Commission on the Auditing Industry. 

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder of Klarna, said: “I am humbled to welcome an exceptional group of executives to the Klarna Board and the longstanding commitment of Sequoia Capital and Sequoia Partner, Michael Moritz, to the company.”

“Their fifty-year heritage of participating as long-term investors in companies that have revolutionized finance, technology, retail and banking will be of tremendous value, especially at a time when the business is accelerating at such a rapid pace.”

Siemiatkowski added that he hopes the new appointees will aid Klarna in its mission to “become the world’s favourite way to shop and bank.”

In light of the new appointments, current chairman Jon Kamaluddin and board member Sarah McPhee will be resigning from their seats on the board.

Like many other fintechs, Klarna has had a strong 2020, earlier this year it became Europe’s highest valued fintech, with a whopping $10.65bn valuation following a $650m funding round. 

Klarna also saw its gross merchandise volume leap up by 44 per cent to $22bn in the first half of 2020, with net operating income jumping by 36 per cent to $517m as a result of the shift to online shopping.

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