Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, announced on Monday that Vice Chairman Gregory Abel would replace him as CEO of the firm.
Buffett confirmed the plans to CNBC after Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger said that Abel “will keep the culture” in response to a question Saturday during Berkshire’s annual meeting about whether the holding company would become too complex to manage.
“The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning,” Buffett said.
He went on to say that Vice Chairman Ajit Jain, 69, would be the next in line after Abel, 59, and that age was a deciding factor for the board.
“They’re both wonderful guys. The likelihood of someone having a 20-year runway though makes a real difference,” said Buffett.
In 2018, Jain and Abel were elevated to vice chairmen, and Buffett gave them the chance to speak at the 2019 shareholder conference.
Munger told customers at the time that they would continue to handle their “money exactly as we would behave with our own money” even after a change of leadership.
Following the announcement on Monday, Berkshire shares gained 1.69 percent.
During Saturday’s shareholder conference, Buffet said that the firm is facing “substantial inflation” as the economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a thriving economy — in fact, it’s exploding. And we weren’t expecting it, either “He stated.