CEO Dad Steps Down To Spend More Time With Kids

Max Schireson (Facebook)


Why are only female CEOs asked how they balance the responsibility of parenthood with work?

This is the question posed by Max Schireson, 44-year-old CEO of the software company MongoDB, in a personal blog post titled “Why I’m leaving the best job I ever had”:

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.

While the press haven’t asked me, it is a question that I often ask myself.

Finding no satisfactory answer, Schireson stepped down. He no longer has to commute from Palo Alto to New York regularly to run the billion dollar company, and is instead transitioning into a normal full-time position as Vice Chairman. Now he has more time to spend with his three kids, ages 14, 12, and 9, “skiing, cooking, playing backgammon, swimming, watching movies or Warriors or Giants games, talking, whatever.”

Schireson acknowledged that stepping down from his current position could jeopardize future CEO opportunities, potentially costing him millions of dollars, but he said that it was a conscious decision and he was choosing to prioritize his family.

Schireson’s wife also has a fascinating career: as well as being a doctor and professor at Stamford, she runs a training program for high-risk obstetricians. Of his wife, Schireson wrote, she does it while being “a fantastic mom, brilliant, beautiful, and infinitely patient with me.”

(Aw, excuse me while I wipe this tear off my laptop.)

Moral of the story: dads need work-life balance, too.

(H/t Huff Post)

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Rachel SilbersteinRachel Silberstein is a journalist and editor. She has written about politics, crime, health, immigration, religion and parenting. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Tablet Magazine, New York Daily News, Jewcy, Feet In Two Worlds, XOJane, and now, Kveller. She received a BA from Brooklyn College, where she served as editor in chief of the campus weekly, The Kingsman, and won two coveted journalism prizes for her investigative reporting. She lives in Brooklyn with her son and guinea pig.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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