做了近 7 年的財務長，我(Patrick Pichette)要從Google退休了，為的是多陪陪家人。對，我知道你們都聽過那條線。我們都為工作付出太多，我當然也是。我並非在博取同情，而是想分享我的心路歷程。因為有太多太多的人，正在工作和生活之間掙扎求平衡。
第二，等今年夏天結束，我無休無止的工作，就滿25至30年了(端視你如何計算)。身為FWIO兄弟會(fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers，指全世界擁有非凡成就卻還是沒有安全感的成功人士)的一員，我確實擁有很棒的經歷。如今回算，那可是1500個禮拜無休無止的工作啊。我總是在工作，甚至不該工作的時候，也還在工作。別人指責我的事，都說對了---我太熱愛我的工作(現在依然是)、我的同事、我的朋友；太愛能夠當領導人的一切機會，太想改變這世界。
第三，今年夏天，塔瑪和我將慶祝我們的結婚 25 周年。每當孩子的朋友問他們，他們父母的婚姻何以能夠如此持久成功？他們總會開玩笑說，他們的母親和我很少有時間在一起，因此我們的婚姻是否能夠稱之為成功，現在還言之過早。如果他們知道我和他們的母親有多少美好的回憶就好了。你呢？你會說你們有多少美好回憶呢？你們還會有多少時間在一起呢？至於我們，有件事我可以肯定，我想要更多，塔瑪也值得擁有更多美好的回憶，更多更多。請容許我不一一贅述其它的結論。反正呢，我找不到好理由告訴塔瑪我們應該再等一等，現在還不能拎起行李就上路。我們要翻開新的扉頁，來慶祝這25週年。我們要好好享受這美好的「中年危機」。等所有我們想做的探險和旅行都做夠了玩夠了，我們會再等待下一個領導機會的來臨。
能夠在Google工作，真的是一種榮幸，這沒話說。我共事的人，都是人中龍鳳。我知道我離開後，Google在他們的手上會運轉得很好。不是開玩笑，我在Google真的交到了非常多好朋友，Larry, Sergey, Eric，謝謝你們的友誼。我會永遠感激你們讓我做自己，謝謝你們信任我、支持我，給我溫暖，謝謝所有順利和不順利的時候，那麼多的歡笑。要澄清的是，我還沒走。我希望能夠在未來幾個月完成交接，但我一定會等到我們找到適合的財務長，幫助他或她無縫接軌之後，我才會離開。而那會需要花些時間。最後要說的是，生命真的很美好，但畢竟人生要做一連串的取捨，尤其是在業務、專業、家庭和群體之間做取捨。幸運的是，我覺得我的人生已經走到一個不再需要做這種痛苦抉擇的時刻了。為此，我衷心感恩。
After nearly 7 years as CFO, I will be retiring from Google to spend more time with my family. Yeah, I know you've heard that line before. We give a lot to our jobs. I certainly did. And while I am not looking for sympathy, I want to share my thought process because so many people struggle to strike the right balance between work and personal life.
This story starts last fall. A very early morning last September, after a whole night of climbing, looking at the sunrise on top of Africa - Mt Kilimanjaro. Tamar (my wife) and I were not only enjoying the summit, but on such a clear day, we could see in the distance, the vast plain of the Serengeti at our feet, and with it the calling of all the potential adventures Africa has to offer. (see exhibit #1 - Tamar and I on Kili).
And Tamar out of the blue said "Hey, why don't we just keep on going". Let's explore Africa, and then turn east to make our way to India, it's just next door, and we're here already. Then, we keep going; the Himalayas, Everest, go to Bali, the Great Barrier Reef... Antarctica, let's go see Antarctica!?" Little did she know, she was tempting fate.
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/us - Boards, Non Profits, etc
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.
A few weeks later, I was happy back at work, but could not shake away THE question: When is it time for us to just keep going? And so began a reflection on my/our life. Through numerous hours of cycling last fall (my introvert happy place) I concluded on a few simple and self-evident truths:
First, The kids are gone. Two are in college, one graduated and in a start-up in Africa. Beautiful young adults we are very proud of. Tamar honestly deserves most of the credit here. She has done a marvelous job. Simply marvelous. But the reality is that for Tamar and I, there will be no more Cheerios encrusted minivan, night watch because of ear infections, ice hockey rinks at 6:00am. Nobody is waiting for us/needing us.
Second, I am completing this summer 25-30 years of nearly non-stop work (depending on how you wish to cut the data). And being member of FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers, it has been a whirlwind of truly amazing experiences. But as I count it now, it has also been a frenetic pace for about 1500 weeks now. Always on - even when I was not supposed to be. Especially when I was not supposed to be. And am guilty as charged - I love my job (still do), my colleagues, my friends, the opportunities to lead and change the world.
Third, this summer, Tamar and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. When our kids are asked by their friends about the success of the longevity of our marriage, they simply joke that Tamar and I have spent so little time together that "it's really too early to tell" if our marriage will in fact succeed. If they could only know how many great memories we already have together. How many will you say? How long do you have? But one thing is for sure, I want more. And she deserves more. Lots more.
Allow me to spare you the rest of the truths. But the short answer is simply that 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 - celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted.
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. I have made so many friends at Google it's not funny. Larry, Sergey, Eric, thank you for friendship. I am forever grateful for letting me be me, for your trust, your warmth, your support, and for so much laughter through good and not so good times.
To be clear, I am still here. I wish to transition over the coming months but only after we have found a new Google CFO and help him/her through an orderly transition, which will take some time.
In the end, life is wonderful, but nonetheless a series of trade offs, especially between business/professional endeavours and family/community. And thankfully, I feel I’m at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices anymore. And for that I am truly grateful. Carpe Diem.