The California-based CEO of a $2 trillion global investment fund has decided to quit his job after his daughter made him a list of 22 milestones that he missed in her life.
Mohamed El-Erian was the head of Pimco until this past January, and in 2011, he made a reported $100 million. In May of 2013, however, his intense schedule and hectic job caught up with him when, as he explains in an essay for Worth, his 10-year-old daughter forced him to wake up.
The “wake-up call” happened when he asked his daughter why she refused to brush her teeth one morning even though he had asked her numerous times.
“She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper,” El-Erian writes in the essay. “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.
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"The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t yet over. I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-dos.
"But it dawned on me that I was missing an infinitely more important point ... I was not making nearly enough time for her.”
At a point in his career where most people would never think to quit, El-Erian knew in his heart that he had to do the right thing, so back in January, he announced his resignation.
“If I had known that there would be this media circus, I would've done a lot of things differently,” said El-Erian to Reuters of the decision.
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El-Erian now works in a variety of "part-time" roles that allow him to spend more time with his family.