Is Buffett's Firm Dropping Hints About a Successor?

Annual online letter mentions 2 names
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2015 10:19 AM CST
Is Buffett's Firm Dropping Hints About a Successor?
Warren Buffett in 2011.   (Nati Harnik)

Warren Buffett released his annual letter to shareholders today, and the much-anticipated report has the usual good things to say about the future of his Berkshire Hathaway. But given that Buffett is 84 and has been in charge for 50 years now, business types are anxious to hear about a successor. In what Fortune calls his "clearest statement" yet on the matter, Buffett writes that the pick is made, and it's someone who works in the company; he's just not saying who it is. “Both the board and I believe we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO—a successor ready to assume the job the day after I die or step down.”

The Wall Street Journal finds it interesting that in his own section, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger writes this:

  • "But, under this Buffett-soon-leaves assumption, his successors would not be 'of only moderate ability.' For instance, Ajit Jain and Greg Abel are proven performers who would probably be under-described as 'world-class.'"
Those two names are often mentioned as successors by outsiders, and Erik Holm of the Journal wonders whether this is confirmation by Berkshire. At the least, it's "very notable that the second in command at Berkshire had a chance to list people who could step into the role and listed those two—and only those two." (More Warren Buffett stories.)

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