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Jain, Abel appointments a move toward succession at Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett

11 January, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Warren Buffett Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Also made vice chairman was Gregory Abel leading the company's non-insurance operations, with Abel CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. "They both have Berkshire in their blood".

Abel, who leads Berkshire Hathaway's utility unit, will now oversee all of the conglomerate's non-insurance business operations.

Berkshire Hathaway has promoted two long-serving executives as it contemplates a future without billionaire boss Warren Buffett.

"They are the key figures", Buffett said to CNBC. JPMorgan's Sarah DeWitt described Abel as Buffett's most likely successor, saying he "would be a strong allocator of capital and the earning power of the underlying businesses would remain strong after Buffett", viewing Jain's age as weighing on his chances.

Berkshire has more than 90 operating units including the BNSF railroad, Geico auto insurance, the Dairy Queen ice cream chain, Fruit of the Loom underwear, See's sweets, and a variety of industrial and chemical operations.

To fit Abel and Jain in, Berkshire's board also voted to raise the number of directors to 14 from 12.

"I have to face reality", Munger said.

"I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about", Buffett explained. He joined the company in 1992. Jain is being appointed vice chairman of insurance operations.

But on the stock market today, Berkshire's "B" shares traded 0.1% lower on the news, near 203.

Buffett said he would not take a short position on bitcoin futures.

Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who are Buffett's investment deputies, are expected eventually to succeed Buffett as Berkshire's chief investment officer.

Its investments include Geico, the Kraft Heinz Co, Fruit of the Loom and Acme Brick Company, as well as Northern Powergrid subsidiaries, which serve about 3.9 million customers in the UK.


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