CEO quits after daughter lists missed milestones

    The CEO of a $2 trillion investment fund quit his job when his daughter presented him with a list of 22 milestones in her life that he had missed.

    When Mohamed El-Erian resigned from his role at California-based PIMCO it came out of the blue but now he has revealed that his daughter was behind the decision.

    In an interview with Worth magazine El-Erian, 56, said: “About a year ago, I asked my daughter several times to do something - brush her teeth, I think it was - with no success.

    “I reminded her that it was not so long ago that she would have immediately responded, and I wouldn’t have had to ask her multiple times; she would have known from my tone of voice that I was serious.

    “She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call.”

    The list contained 22 landmarks including things like first day of school, first soccer match, parent teacher evenings and a Halloween parade – all missed due to work commitments.

    “As much as I could rationalize it - as I had rationalized it - my work-life balance had gotten way out of whack,” said El-Erian. “The imbalance was hurting my very special relationship with my daughter. I was not making nearly enough time for her.”

    He says that since resigning he has taken steps to achieve a better balance - he and his wife take turns in waking up their daughter, preparing her breakfast and bringing her to school.

    Image courtesy of Wikipedia user NorbertSchiller

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    Comments (21)

    • MB
      Tue, 9 Dec 2014 2:59pm GMT
      Although I think he did the right thing in resigning from his role.

      I am sure that at his level, over seeing a 2 Trillion dollar fund, his payout would keep his family comfortable for many years to come.

      I'm sure there are many parents wishing they could afford to do the right thing by there kids but all to often today we are given a job description for a role and then there is the expected hours that you have to do to actually be able to do your job well, and most of us want to do a good job.

      Unfortunately it is our families that suffer as it easier to tell them no than our bosses.

      It is our responsibility to manage our bosses too!!!
    • FD&Mum
      Sat, 11 Oct 2014 12:20am BST
      Interesting views. I thought about resigning a couple of weeks ago, due to a mistake I made from working too many hours. I discussed this with my daughter aged 9 and she was not happy about the choice - less holidays and opportunities for her if I resigned and she saw no advantage of having more time with Mummy.
    • My
      My@ Fiona
      Fri, 10 Oct 2014 5:36pm BST
      Don't kid yourself about Scandinavia.
      I work in Malmo and an unbalanced life is explicitly demanded.
    • Preety
      Fri, 3 Oct 2014 12:30pm BST
      Am not sure daughter life mile stones missed should lead to quitting your job. not sure if this is all that is behind his decision.
      some in earlier comment also said you can balance and prioritize on some of these things and the rest you manage expectations. you do the same at work and need to do the same with family. I believe both understand if you do your part and communicate well.
      I have had an active - very busy career as a woman - I have 2 grown up daughter - I did attend to some key milestones of their life and the rest I told them Mom can not do it and why is it important for Mom to work like this. They understood most times.
      so not sure daughters milestones are the only reason for him to quit job
    • Sureya
      Thu, 2 Oct 2014 8:23am BST
      Well that's really sad of course, however two things occur to me
      1) Kids can be manipulative, she pulling your strings Mister. See how she feels when her shoe budget gets shrunk. They were any number of ways her justifiable need for more attention could have been met.
      2) Sorry to say this - but how do you think it is for women??? Women have to make such unfair compromises all the time, you compromise, not QUIT!
      3) Lucky for you that you can afford to duck-out. The reality for most people is they cant afford to quit work to make their kids brush their teeth.

      What message is being sent to that child? My daughter has learnt to accept that Mum has to work, and the example is one she'll probably want to follow if she wants to achieve her full potential. If I quit to spend more time with my children haw can I tell her she needs to work her socks off to get the best education. Its a tough call.

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