Male CEO Makes Big Deal About Finally Putting His Family First​


So, Max Schireson, a successful Silicon Valley CEO, penned a heartfelt post on his blog recently explaining why he is quitting "the best job of his life," and it's gone viral. After four years at the helm of billion-dollar database giant MongoDB, he is quitting to focus on being a dad to his three children.

Big whoop, Max. You made a decision moms make every single day without the oooohhhhs and aaaaahhhs, water cooler chatter, or applause. They quietly sacrifice their leadership roles, lucrative paychecks, and social stance to be moms. And no one takes notice (except their kids ... after they turn 21 and can start to appreciate the attention they received).


Max waxes philosophical in his letter. He wonders why his wife, a doctor, is asked about the sacrifices she makes to conduct research and raise children, but he is treated differently. He questions why reporters constantly ask women CEOs how they maintain a work/life balance while he fields inquiries about the car he drives. I’ll tell you why: it’s because men like you make a big deal when you put your children first.

You draw attention to it like you’re a hero, perpetuating the roles society places on moms (at home) and dads (at work). I would have had more respect for you if you just resigned.

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I get it; being a CEO is hard. The money is beyond great -- lots of zeroes on the checks, bonuses to be made, perks to enjoy -- but there is a price tag. For Max, it meant logging about 300,000 miles traveling to meetings. It meant missing important events in his children’s lives, like when his puppy was hit by a car or his son had minor emergency surgery. It must be so liberating to sacrifice your career for child-rearing without wondering how you will pay rent.

Max wrote:

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. Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have a meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so. At first, it seemed like a hard choice, but the more I have sat with the choice the more certain I am that it is the right choice.

Putting children first is the right choice.

Being humble about it makes that choice even more meaningful ... and gives a silent nod to the women who have done it for years, long before you decided to make a big fuss about making your family a priority.

What do you think about Max Schireson’s decision? Do you think it’s a bold move or no big deal?

Image via Megan Maloy/Corbis

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