Warren Buffett-Led Berkshire Hathaway Raises Pay for the 93-Year-Old Billionaire's Successor Greg Abel to $20 Million

By Jace Dela Cruz

Mar 16, 2024 01:46 AM EDT

The Warren Buffett-led conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway increased the pay of the billionaire's designated successor, Greg Abel, to $20 million last year, according to the company's annual proxy filing. 

Abel is the current pick to replace Buffett should the 93-year-old billionaire leave the role as chief executive. 

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks during the Fortune summit on "The Most Powerful Women" at the Mandarin Hotel October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC.
(Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Warren Buffett-Led Conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Raises Greg Abel's Pay

Reuters reported that the rise in compensation came as Berkshire Hathaway posted a record operating profit. Ahead of the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate's annual meeting on May 4, Berkshire reported the executive pay and recommendations on shareholder proposals in its annual proxy filing on Friday.

Greg Abel's compensation increased from $19 million in 2022, which comprised of a $16 million salary and a $3 million bonus. Ajit Jain's compensation as vice chairman of insurance operations like Geico was also raised from $19 million to $20 million.

Warren Buffett maintained a salary of $100,000, unchanged for over 35 years, in addition to personal and home security expenses. Despite his modest salary, Buffett's 15.1% ownership in Berkshire Hathaway and his $135 billion fortune, ranking sixth globally according to Forbes, ensure he has substantial wealth.

READ NEXT: Berkshire Hathaway's Brooks Running Longtime CEO Jim Weber Is Stepping Down After More Than 20 Years

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Proposals

Greg Abel, 61, is the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway's noninsurance operations, like BNSF, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and various industrial, chemical, and retail operations. 

Some of the shareholder proposals concerning the company's climate initiatives and diversity echoed those from previous years but failed to garner substantial support. 

Given Warren Buffett's control over 31.2% of Berkshire's voting power, proposals contrary to his preferences face significant challenges in gaining approval.

Reuters reported that one proposal urged Berkshire to enhance safety measures following a train derailment incident involving BNSF in Ohio. Berkshire defended BNSF's safety programs but refrained from adopting "Precision Scheduled Railroading." 

Additionally, the AFL-CIO Equity Index Funds proposed forming an independent railroad safety committee to monitor the financial risks associated with BNSF.

Another proposal focused on Berkshire's dealings with China, prompting the company to emphasize its existing policies on business practices and human rights issues related to China. 

READ MORE: Warren Buffett's Trusted Associate Charlie Munger Dies at 99: What's Next for Berkshire Hathaway?

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