Why Sequoia’s Klarna board drama made the VC world wince

SOURCE: Pitchbook

Swedish fintech company Klarna has had a week that sounds more like an episode of “Succession” than reality. First, Sequoia partner Matt Miller, with the backing of his firm, asked Klarna shareholders to oust Sequoia ex-chair Michael Moritz from the board, The Information first reported. It was an astonishingly bold move. Moritz was credited with much of Sequoia’s success during his 38-year tenure at the firm, having led its investments into Google, PayPal and Stripe. He’s also a close ally of Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski and wrote the firm’s first check to Klarna back in 2010. Moritz left Sequoia in July to focus on his wealth management firm, Sequoia Heritage. He handed over his board seat at Sequoia to Miller but had remained on as an independent adviser. By Tuesday, Sequoia had retracted its request after lobbying from Siemiatkowski, apologized, and by Thursday, replaced Miller with Andrew Reed as board member, according to The Information and the Financial Times. Siemiatkowski called Reed a “perfect fit for Klarna” in a message to Klarna shareholders. Reed co-leads Sequoia’s growth investing strategy and is on the board of design software company Figma.

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