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Google's CFO Quits Company in 'Perfectly Fine Midlife Crisis Full of Bliss and Beauty'

Google's CFO Quits Company in 'Perfectly Fine Midlife Crisis Full of Bliss and Beauty'

Patrick Pichette

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If, as he so eloquently puts it, life is a “series of tradeoffs,” Google’s CFO, Patrick Pichette, is drawing a line in the sand.

In an uncharacteristically poignant blog post from the money mind behind one of the biggest tech firms on earth, Pichette announced his retirement at age 52 in order to spend more time with his family.

“Yeah, I know you've heard that line before,” Pichette writes, before describing the emotionally-charged moment that led to his work-life balance recalibration.

On a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro last September, Pichette’s wife, Tamar, turned to him out of the blue and asked, “Why don’t we just keep going?” -- to the Himalayas, Mount Everest, Bali, the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. Pichette, who has been at Google for seven years, responded at the time that his career was still a priority, though a seed of doubt had nevertheless been planted.

Related: Retiring at 27: Ambitious, Lazy or Crazy?

Ultimately, after several weeks back on the job, Pichette realized the inevitable: With two kids in college and after 30 years of a frenetically-paced career, “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.”

He likens the move to “a perfectly fine midlife crisis full of bliss and beauty” -- noting that he is “at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices” between family and career.

Pichette noted that he would remain in his position in coming months to facilitate the transition of “a new Googley CFO,” which he acknowledges could take some time.

For his part, Google CEO Larry Page applauded the unconventional move. “Patrick has been a joy to work with,” he wrote, “and I wish him all the best on his new adventures!”

Related: Abercrombie's Polarizing CEO Abruptly Retires

Edition: December 2016

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