Buffett relies on deputies to find Unit CEO successors

October 14
5:25 AM 2013

Renowned billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway Inc chief Warren Buffett had been resorting to a new approach in managing chief executive turnovers. Pundits and analysts saw Buffett relies on his deputies rather than asking a consortium of the company's business leaders to nominate their successors.

In the latest chief executive appointment for Berkshire's Benjamin Moore Co, Buffett appeared to had consulted the paint maker chairman Tracy Britt Cool and Buffett's investing deputy Ted Weschler to name the new head.

The departure to Buffett's management approach was considered off, as Buffett autobiography book author Robert Miles said the old method was effective. Miles also said Buffett had bred loyalty within his company and had not lost a CEO to a rival because of the old approach.

Nonetheless, Henry H. Armstrong Associates president James Armstrong assured that investors were not worried about the new approach. "They've had so much less turnover than any other company their size, and these smaller units are not going to move the needle. What you really need is good leadership at the railroad; you need good leadership in insurance; you need good leadership in the electric power business. That's really what generates most of the earnings," Armstrong said.

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