Google CFO to leave job for a 'midlife crisis full of bliss and beauty' on the road

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Here’s one way to get people on Google Plus: announce your midlife crisis on the ailing social media platform.

That’s what Google’s CFO Patrick Pichette did on Tuesday, using Google Plus to announce his surprise retirement, age 52, so he can spend more time with his family and backpack across the world.

In an intimate blogpost Pichette wrote: “I know you’ve heard that line before. We give a lot to our jobs. I certainly did.”

Pichette, who joined Google in 2008, said he began thinking of retirement last September after a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa with his wife, Tamar. She asked him to keep exploring and to go backpacking with her through Africa and India.

“I remember telling Tamar a typical prudent CFO-type response – I would love to keep going, but we have to go back. It’s not time yet. There is still so much to do at Google, with my career, so many people counting on me,” wrote Pichette. “But then she asked the killer question: so when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air.”

Pichette couldn’t find a good argument for why they should wait any longer to grab their backpacks, hit the road “and enjoy a perfectly fine midlife crisis full of bliss and beauty”. And so, he’s retiring.

Most recently his responsibilities at Google have included defending the company’s spending on audacious projects such as Google Glass and driverless cars. During a conference call in January, Pichette described company investments as “disciplined”. Prior to joining Google, Pichette served as president of operations at Bell Canada.

“A most unconventional leaving notice from a most unconventional CFO,” wrote Larry Page, Google’s CEO, who reposted Pichete’s memo on his own Google Plus page. “Well worth reading – it will warm your heart. Patrick has been a joy to work with and I wish him all the best on his new adventures!”

If Pichette retires before the next year, he might be leaving money on the table, according to CNN Money.

“He has more than 60,000 stock options that will not vest until next year, worth about $14m if he could cash them today. He also may lose stock awards worth about $16.8m at current prices. His base salary and cash bonus in 2013 and 2012 were about $3.5m a year,” CNN reports.

Pichette, who described himself as a member of the “fraternity of worldwide insecure over-achievers”, is not leaving the company immediately. According to his post, he will stay on through the transition and will officially retire after a new CFO has been found.

“Working at Google is a privilege, nothing less. I have worked with the best of the best, and know that I am leaving Google in great hands,” he wrote.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jana Kasperkevic, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 11th March 2015 15.19 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010