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Buffett addresses issue of 'decay'

March 07, 2006

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett answered calls for a succession plan, telling investors the company's board picked a replacement and will ask him to resign should he begin to "decay."

Buffett, 75, said in his annual shareholder letter over the weekend that the board unanimously agreed on one of three "reasonably young" executives at the Omaha, Neb.-based insurance and investment company. He also reported Berkshire's fourth-quarter profit before investment gains was little changed from a year ago because of hurricane claims.

Buffett, who has run Berkshire since 1965, didn't name the person and indicated he didn't expect to be replaced anytime soon. Analysts have criticized the billionaire investor for not discussing his succession. His letter should reassure investors he's willing to depart, said Paul Lapides of the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University.


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