Warren Buffett Names Greg Abel As Successor

Warren Buffett has revealed Greg Abel as his likely successor at Berkshire Hathaway. After years of speculations, Warren Buffett has finally disclosed that the Canadian-born businessman, and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway's non-insurance businesses, Greg Abel, would be his likely successor when he steps down as CEO.


The company's board is on board with the idea and agrees that Greg Abel is competent enough to manage the helm of affairs at the multinational conglomerate.

 For over 15 years, details of who would succeed 90-year-old Buffett has been kept a secret at the company, however, investors were assured there was a solid plan in place. 

According to Buffett, an important criterion they considered in making the decision was age. Indian American Ajit Jain, who had been vice-chairman of Insurance Operations for Berkshire Hathaway since January 2018 was a potential pick and would have made a suitable choice as well, but he's already 69. 

Buffett said when talking about the selection, 

“They’re both wonderful guys. The likelihood of someone having a 20-year runway, though, makes a real difference.”

Greg Abel is 59 years old.

At the company's annual meeting on Saturday night, Charlie Munger, who's vice-chairman, made a remark that fueled speculations of Greg Abel being successor. In a conversation with CEO Buffett on the company's culture and how it works for decentralization, he said, "Greg will keep the culture."

The meeting was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 “The directors agree that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning,” Buffett said to news channel CNBC. “We’ve always at Berkshire had basically a unanimous agreement as to who should take over the next day.”


The topic of succession has been a major one at Berkshire given the ages of Buffett and Munger and their roles in building the company into the multibillion-dollar (US$630 billion) conglomerate it is at today. A successor would have to tackle a wide array of operations, from insurers to a railroad to energy companies and even retailers.


Abel rose to prominence at Berkshire Hathaway as key manager of the company's energy operations, morphing the units into a standard business with over 20,000 employees.

He's also known for being a sharp negotiator and had helped the energy business purchase NV Energy, a Nevada-based company, as well as an electric transmission company in Alberta.

He currently holds roles as a board member at Kraft Heinz Co., is vice chairman of Edison Electric Institute, and a director of Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Limited.

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