Reddit’s former CEO, Yishan Wong, resigned late last year because “it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.” Now, Google’s chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, has announced his retirement from the company, citing a need to spend time with his family.
While the effective date of his retirement has not yet been determined, Pichette has promised to assist in the search for a new CFO, a process which the company said could take up to the next six months, in a statutory filing.
In what Google co-founder Larry Page described as an “unconventional leaving notice,” Pichette detailed his story on his Google+ page: “After nearly 7 years as CFO, I will be retiring from Google to spend more time with my family. Yeah, I know you’ve heard that line before.”
“We give a lot to our jobs. I certainly did. And while I am not looking for sympathy, I want to share my thought process because so many people struggle to strike the right balance between work and personal life.”
The thought first struck last fall during a family vacation, where his wife, Tamar, suggested they take time off to go travelling around the world.
Pichette’s admitted to giving a “typical prudent CFO type response,” essentially saying he could not afford to take the time off owing to his work responsibilities.
“There is still so much to do at Google, with my career, so many people counting on me/us – Boards, Non Profits, etc.,” he wrote.
“But then she asked the killer question: So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air.”
He couldn’t shake off the question – after all, his kids were away at college, he had been working for 25-30 years, and he will celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary this summer.
“Allow me to spare you the rest of the truths. But the short answer is simply that I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road.”
And with that realisation, Pichette added what may echo with many of us, “Life is wonderful, but nonetheless a series of trade offs, especially between business/professional endeavours and family/community.”
“And thankfully, I feel I’m at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices anymore. And for that I am truly grateful.”