In a discussion about Berkshire Hathaway’s future during the company’s annual meeting Saturday, Charlie Munger said, “Greg will keep the culture.”
As I noted in Saturday’s newsletter, that sounded like an unintentional signal that Greg Abel, the vice chairman in charge of everything except the insurance operations and investments, had been designated to be the next CEO of Berkshire when Buffett eventually leaves the post.
This morning on “Squawk Box,” CNBC’s Becky Quick broke the news that “the impression was an accurate one.“
Buffett tells Becky, “The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning.”
And, “If, heaven forbid, anything happened to Greg tonight, then it would be (Berkshire’s insurance chief, Vice Chairman) Ajit (Jain).”
Abel is 59 and Jain is 69. Buffett said that was a factor in the board’s thinking.
“They’re both wonderful guys. The likelihood of someone having a 20-year runway though makes a real difference.”
t’s not an enormous surprise, since Abel is already responsible for so much of the company’s operations.
Buffett says “we’ve always at Berkshire had basically a unanimous agreement as to who should take over the next day. The world’s paying more attention now.”