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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Buffett says Abel, a non-insurance executive, is his likely successor

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Warren Buffett ended long-standing speculation about his successor at Berkshire Hathaway Inc by saying that Greg Abel, who oversees the conglomerate’s non-insurance business, would be appointed chief executive if he were to step down.

Buffett, 90, told UKTN that “the directors agree that if anything happened to me tonight, Greg would take over tomorrow morning.”

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He also said if anything happened to Abel it would be Ajit Jain, who oversees Berkshire’s insurance business, to become managing director, but Jain is about ten years older.

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“The likelihood of someone having a 20-year-old track does make a real difference, however,” said Buffett.

Buffett has never publicly announced his intention to resign. Abel and Jain have been Vice Presidents of Berkshire since 2018.

Berkshire did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The announcement so far ends the speculation that began in 2006 when Buffett, then 75, first discussed his succession plans in his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders.

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Prior to becoming Vice President, Abel was Managing Director of the company’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy unit.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Louise Heavens)

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