It's that time again: this weekend a boatload of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) shareholders will descend on Omaha to attend the annual Berkshire shareholders' meeting and hear the great Oracle, Warren Buffett, speak.
Only problem is, this year WB will have some explaining to do. As the Financial Times reports, Buffett faces a grilling from investors who'll expect him to account for the company's worst year ever.
Excerpt from the FT piece:
"Buffett-watchers say this year’s meeting of shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway, his candies-to-insurance group, will depart from the usual pattern of deferential questions and folksy answers and witness some criticism of the billionaire investor.
“The hard questions will be asked this year,” said James Altucher, a hedge fund manager and author of Trade Like Warren Buffett. “There will be people who always stand by him and others who will ask: ‘Have you lost your way?’”."
Another small cloud looming over Berkshire Hathaway is the now-frequently discussed issue of CEO succession. Who will fill Warren Buffett's shoes as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Berkshire?
In fact, as Berkshire followers already know, it will likely take two individuals to carry out these seperate roles that superstar-CEO Buffett has long carried out himself.
There is a good deal of concern about finding successors who could live up to Buffett's outstanding long-term track record of success, but Berkshire insiders are confident that the unique corporate culture put in place by Buffett and Vice-Chairman Charlie Munger will continue after Buffett is gone.
We've added some recent Bloomberg TV segments here which speak to that issue. Bill Gates, Donald Keough, David Sokol, Byron Trott, and Buffett himself are interviewed for this special on Buffett's inner circle and succession at Berkshire Hathaway. You'll find more on this topic below in our related articles section.
Related articles and posts:
1. Buffett refocuses attention on Berkshire - Bloomberg.
2. Eveillard, Child, Pabrai on Berkshire, Buffett - Bloomberg.
3. Berkshire, Buffett bear brunt of bear market - Finance Trends.