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Former CEO: Missing daughter's events was a 'wake-up' call to quit

Another CEO has decided that being a better dad is more important than his job.Mohamed El-Erian walked away from his (very lucrative) position as head of the investment firm PIMCO earlier this year, opting instead for work that required less travel and offered more flexibility.He made the decision after his daughter presented him with a list of 22 events he had missed because of his grueling sched
TODAY
TODAY

Another CEO has decided that being a better dad is more important than his job.

Mohamed El-Erian walked away from his (very lucrative) position as head of the investment firm PIMCO earlier this year, opting instead for work that required less travel and offered more flexibility.

He made the decision after his daughter presented him with a list of 22 events he had missed because of his grueling schedule — everything from her first day at school to a Halloween parade, he recalled in a column for Worth magazine. El-Erian called it a “wake-up call.”

“My work-life balance had gotten way out of whack, and the imbalance was hurting my very special relationship with my daughter. I was not making nearly enough time for her,” El-Erian wrote.

“I now alternate with my wife in waking up our daughter every morning, preparing her breakfast and driving her to school. I’m also around much more often to pick her up after school and take her to activities.”

Last month, Max Schireson announced he was stepping down as CEO of the software company MongoDB for similar reasons.

TODAY’s Matt Lauer pointed out El-Erian has made about $100 million, so he had more ability to scale down his work responsibilities than most fathers.

Still, the TODAY anchors praised his decision.

“That’s wonderful. Fathers deal with this just like moms do every single day,” Lauer said. “You miss birthdays, school events.”

“It makes you think about — you don’t want to miss those moments,” added Carson Daly. “We miss the morning time, too. Like, I just got a picture of my two daughters just hanging out. They’re not milestones, per se, but they’re important moments.”

El-Erian said he hopes companies give more attention to the importance of work-life balance.

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