April 12, 2023 -OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett assured investors Wednesday that Berkshire Hathaway will be fine when he’s no longer around to lead the conglomerate.
Buffett said that after Vice Chairman Greg Abel takes over, Berkshire will still follow the same model of allowing its subsidiaries to largely run themselves while looking for other companies to buy with the substantial cash reserves it keeps on hand at all times.
“The problem for our board of directors is the day I’m not around and Greg’s running it, I am not giving him some envelope that tells him what to do next,” Buffett said.
Buffett said Berkshire is “so damn lucky” to have Abel ready to take over as CEO. The 92-year-old says he has no plans to retire, but Abel has been designated as the successor ever since Buffett’s partner Charlie Munger let it slip at the 2021 annual meeting. Abel already oversees all of Berkshire’s non-insurance businesses.
Buffett and Abel appeared together Wednesday on CNBC from Tokyo where they are checking on several companies Berkshire has invested in, and to promote the conglomerate Buffett leads.
Wednesday’s appearance was the first extended television interview Buffett has done since before the pandemic. He used to regularly appear on the cable business news network to answer questions for three hours at a time, several times a year. Buffett and Abel fielded a variety of questions Wednesday, including regarding the recent bank failures and whether railroads, including Berkshire’s BNSF railroad, need to improve safety in the wake of several recent high-profile derailments.