That’s what 56-year-old Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO of global and trillion-dollar investment fund company PIMCO, had to say when his 10-year-old daughter gave him a list of 22 milestones he had missed because of his work.
El-Erian was merely asking his girl why she didn’t want to brush her teeth, when he received the child’s surprising response. She listed events such as soccer matches, a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade, among other pivotal occasions in her life, that he had missed.
“I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event!” said El-Erian in his article on worth.com. “Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-dos…"
He further expressed his regret: “As much as I could rationalize it—as I had rationalized it—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, shortly after receiving his daughter’s list, resigned from his post as CEO of PIMCO.
There are rumors that the resignation may actually also have occurred because of tarnished relations with PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross, who recently also left the company.
Nevertheless, El-Erian seems to be enjoying his new life, having several part-time jobs, waking up his daughter each day, making her breakfast and driving her to school.
“[My wife] and I are doing a lot of wonderful talking and sharing,” said El-Erian. “We’ve even planned a holiday together, just the two of us.”
“I’m the first to recognize that I am incredibly fortunate to be able to structure my life in this way. And I’m so grateful that this is providing me greater opportunity to experience key moments in my daughter’s life before they’re all too quickly gone.”