Startup Dad

Max Schireson resigned from MongoDB today as its CEO.  Often when people leave high positions, they leave to “spend more time with family” which is a nice euphemism for I got canned.

In Max’s case, it seems like he really did leave to spend more time with his family.

His post announcing the reasons for his departure is well worth a read as they’re so uncharacteristic and refreshing.  A couple of parts that I found particularly interesting/telling.

On the expectations of men & women who are CEOs.

Earlier this summer, Matt Lauer asked Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, whether she could balance the demands of being a mom and being a CEO. The Atlantic asked similar questions of PepsiCo’s female CEO Indra Nooyi. As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.

On the cost of this decision

I recognize that by writing this I may be disqualifying myself from some future CEO role. Will that cost me tens of millions of dollars someday? Maybe. Life is about choices.

It was a refreshing read. Max, per his post, was doing almost 300,000 miles of travel on a plane per year and his company was in NY while his family was in California.  Those are hard circumstances.

As he mentions, life is about choices. I’m fortunate that I’m not required to travel like Max and to be able to see my daughter every morning and walk with her school as well as some evenings, but I do know that I do struggle with being present all the time even when I’m there physically.

Max’s post was honest & candid. He also acknowledges that he is very lucky like many of us to have the luxury to make these types of choices.  But all in all, it was good to see Max’s post as I think it is a good discussion to have.

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