Ex-Klook community lead creates job spreadsheet for retrenched employees

Shortly after news broke that travel activities and services booking platform Klook is streamlining its workforce, a Google spreadsheet containing the names of employees who have been laid off recently surfaced online. Created by Audrey Mah (pictured), Klook's former community team lead, marketing who was also recently laid off, the spreadsheet had 42 names at the time of writing, including names of former Klook employees in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, among other countries.

It also includes a list of opportunities at companies such as Shopee, U Mobile, World Vision Malaysia, and Smobble. Majority of the opportunities are based in Malaysia. Mah told A+M in a statement that the idea for the spreadsheet was inspired by her colleagues in Australia who was previously with Uber. Apparently, a similar spreadsheet also appeared when Uber folded its operations in Southeast Asia after being bought over by Grab in 2018.

It all started when Mah first posted on her LinkedIn about the mass layoffs at Klook, calling for companies who are hiring to reach out to her. Mah added that she was also on the look out for job opportunities on behalf of her colleagues. Her initial post, which also contained her CV, received 584 reactions. Inspired by the power of the LinkedIn community, Mah then decided to create a public Google spreadsheet to help affected colleagues and interested companies. 

The streamlining move by Klook impacts between 10% to 20% of its global workforce, which will either be placed on temporary leave or part ways with the company. As of March this year, the company had more than 2,000 employees across 29 offices globally, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

"Klook is a young start-up and many of the employees there are fresh graduates, most of who do not have LinkedIn. With this pandemic, I'm sure many of them not only feel lost but think that this is the end for them," Mah explained. She added that instead of waiting for a miracle to happen, she decided to leverage the traction that her initial post on LinkedIn garnered and created the Google spreadsheet. According to Mah, the companies listed in the Google spreadsheet came on board on their own accord. 

Separately, CEO and co-founder Ethan Lin told A+M previously that the streamlining is the next step of cost-optimisation measures undertaken by Klook, which was "a very difficult decision". The company also implemented a temporary reduced workweek across the organisation, in addition to its co-founders - Lin, Bernie Xiong and Eric Gnock Fah - not receiving any salary until the end of the crisis and leadership teams taking voluntary pay cuts. Previously, Klook had declined to comment on the impact of the measures on its marketing team.

Meanwhile, another spreadsheet with a list of marketing jobs and candidates in Southeast Asia is also circulating online, with more than 1,000 names at the time of writing. While those listed are mainly from Singapore (34.7%), Indonesia (46.9%) and Malaysia (5.9%), there are also individuals from the US, United Arab Emirates, India and Australia.

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