Patrick Pichette: How This Former CFO of Google Disrupted Himself

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The former CFO of Google, Patrick Pichette, is my guest on the 10th episode of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast. I think you’ll find, as I did, that Patrick has valuable insights on many of the nuances of personal disruption. Talent development, for example, and the importance of leaving the curve when you’re at the top of your game.

patrick pichette

At 52 Patrick Pichette retired. His salary was reputed to be over 5M a year. Obviously he’s not living in poverty. But most of us may wonder at walking away from that income at such a young age. This step back from the power of the almighty dollar is an inspiration for anyone who believes that money isn’t life’s most valuable form of compensation. Patrick was ready to spend more time with family. He was ready to travel with them for pleasure, not business, ready to develop new talents and interests, ready to engage in meaningful acts of giving back.

A Different Kind of Road Warrior

“I live in my backpack; I’ve been living in my suitcases,” he says. He has taken up rock-climbing, has run a marathon and participated in an Ironman competition. A cycling adventure across his Canadian homeland with one of his children is in the near future. “The least I have on me, the least I own, the happier I am.” He’s invested in buying land for conservation purposes and funding scholarships for meritorious but financially disadvantaged youths.

Meeting people, sharing their situation in life, is Patrick’s favorite pastime. “The climbers’ community is just an absolutely amazing community: the generosity, the simplicity….I always say the quality of my trips—they’re inversely proportional to how much I paid for my hotel room.”

The interview has plenty of insights into his storied career and personal disruptions, including his refreshingly non-materialistic perspective on the most recent. You’ll be thinking about early retirement for a disruption, too.

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