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Klarna Hires Former American Express Exec as New CCO


Updated: Former American Express executive Michael Rouse will be joining Klarna as the company’s chief commercial officer. In his new position, Rouse will be responsible for new business development, revenue management, and global partnerships and solutions.

In a statement, CEO and Klarna co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski called Rouse a “perfect addition” as the company looks to expand its global reach. “We’re gearing up to become the world’s favorite way to buy,” Siemiatkowski said.

MichaelRouse_Klarna_croppedFor his part, Rouse called Klarna “the most exciting company in payments.” He pointed to the company’s ability to “leverage data from more than 35 million consumers” as key to Klarna’s ability to develop solutions that will improve the shopping experience for consumers and boost conversion rates for retailers.

Rouse’s seven years at American Express included executive responsibilities in global sales, business development, and marketing. In his final capacity at American Express, Rouse ran the company’s flagship loyalty program, Membership Rewards loyalty program, forging partnerships with companies like Amazon, Ticketmaster, and Uber.

Klarna was profiled recently in the Financial Times and The Independent, and the company’s head of expansion, Jens Saltin was interviewed earlier this month by StrategyEye. Klarna expanded operations to the United States in the fall of 2014, hiring Bill Billingsley away from Alliance Data to serve as Klarna’s chief executive officer for North America.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Klarna demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012 in San Francisco. Some of the company’s key metrics are below:

  • Commands 10% of the e-commerce market share for Northern Europe
  • Operates in 18 markets
  • Maintains 1,200 employees
  • Works with 50,000 merchants
  • Handles 250,000 transactions a day
  • Serves 35 million total end customers

Klarna acquired SOFORT in 2014. SOFORT made its Finovate debut the following year at FinovateEurope 2015.