Software CEO steps down to be better father, husband

Max Schireson, soon to be former CEO of mongoDB, made it official--for him it's family over money

By Tyler Ragghianti
Posted on Aug 6, 2014 - 11:31am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (  
Max Shireson steps down as CEO of a software company to spend more time with his wife, kids.

Max Shireson steps down as CEO of software company mongoDB to spend more time with his wife, kids. (MONGODB.COM)

You don’t hear about this happening every day: A high paid CEO is stepping down from the top job so he can spend more time with his wife and kids.

Max Schireson, soon to be former CEO of mongoDB, made it official on his blog and the company issued a press release announcing his replacement.

It’s a done deal.

“A few months ago, I decided the only way to balance was by stepping back from my job,” writes Schireson on his personal blog.

Schireson is a father of three: ages 14, 12 and 9.

“I love spending time with them: skiing, cooking, playing backgammon, swimming, watching movies or Warriors or Giants games, talking, whatever,” he says.

But he has had a tough time doing so, because of his job.


Before deciding to take a step back, he was “on pace to fly 300,000 miles this year, all the normal CEO travel plus commuting between Palo Alto and New York every 2-3 weeks.”

He laments about all the family stuff he has missed over the years: “I was not with my kids when our puppy was hit by a car or when my son had (minor and successful, and of course unexpected) emergency surgery.”

Schireson’s wife has a demanding job as well. She’s a doctor and professor at Stanford University and is very busy with work, in addition to juggling all that comes with being a mom of three.

“I am forever in her debt for finding a way to keep the family working despite my crazy travel,” he says. “I should not continue abusing that patience.”

He says he finds it interesting that people always ask his wife how she balances work with her personal life. But they never ask him.

“As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.”

He says life is about choices and for now, he is choosing fatherhood and family over money. He will assume his new role as Vice Chairman of the company Sept. 3.

“I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have a meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so,” says Schireson. “At first, it seemed like a hard choice, but the more I have sat with the choice the more certain I am that it is the right choice.”

A passion for sports led Tyler Ragghianti to brief stints with Fox Sports Florida and Bright House Sports Network. After spending two spring trainings filming with the New York Yankees, Tyler decided to step away from the camera and begin a career with Selig Multimedia, Inc. Tyler graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism. He spends his personal time creating memories with his wife and passing along his enthusiasm for sports to their son.