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The CEO of a billion-dollar startup who quit for his family is back working in Silicon Valley

Max Schireson made headlines with his decision last year – but he’s making a comeback.

Former MongoDB CEO Max Schireson
Former MongoDB CEO Max Schireson
Image: YouTube

MAX SCHIRESON IS the former CEO of MongoDB, a database software startup last reported to be worth $1.6 billion (€1.44 billion).

Although MongoDB, a company formerly known as 10gen which opened its international headquarters in Dublin in mid-2013, grew its revenue 30 times and raised $220 million (€198 million) during his four years there, most people remember him as the man behind a resignation letter that went totally viral last year.

Schireson stood down from the CEO position to spend more time with his family and his impassioned letter got attention for its candour about the modern demands and realities of work-life balance. 

But roughly 11 months after freeing himself from a gruelling work life, Schireson announced on Thursday that he’s back in a full-time position at VC firm Battery Ventures.

I have been doing less work, but I am ready to ramp up that part of my life a bit. I’m starting a job as an Executive in Residence at Battery Ventures,” Schireson wrote in a blog post.


A balanced life

In his new job, Schireson said he’ll be helping Battery Ventures find attractive startups, while working with entrepreneurs to build the companies. However, he stressed that he has no plans of using his new role to start another company or join a different startup.

“I love variety and intellectual challenge, so the idea of working across a number of exciting startups was appealing,” he said in a separate interview with Battery Ventures.

I wanted to continue to have a balanced life and this was an opportunity to engage with great companies without committing to an intense, CEO-like management role.”

Schireson also wrote that he’s been spending a lot of his time with family and friends over the past year. His professional activities have been “limited” last year, he says, which made him travel a lot less too.

“I have 21,000 miles with United in the first 8 months of this year, down from 114,000 in the first 6 months of last year,” he said.

In August 2014, Schireson wrote a blog post titled, “Why I’m leaving the best job I ever had,” explaining his intention to step down from MongoDB’s CEO position to spend more time with family.

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It drew a lot of attention as he made some valid points about work-life balance in the tech industry.

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 … friends and colleagues often ask my wife how she balances her job and motherhood. Somehow, the same people don’t ask me,” he wrote at the time.

You can read his full blog post here.

By Eugene Kim for Business Insider, with reporting from staff

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