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Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Buffett Offers Hint at Next Berkshire Hathaway Leader

Buffett Offers Hint at Next Berkshire Hathaway Leader

Buffett told CNBC that these appointments were "part of a movement to succession over time", adding that the appointments should not be seen as a sign of his stepping down from the company's leadership. Yet Buffett says Abel and Jain are the right choices as potential successors. Jain joined in 1986 and now serves as Executive Vice President of National Indemnity Company with overall responsibility for leading Berkshire's reinsurance operations.

"They know each other well, they like each other well, they both have their areas of specialty", he said.

Buffett, 87, and his 94-year-old longtime partner, Charlie Munger, are staying in their respective positions as chairman and CEO and vice chairman.

Speculation that Abel and Jain were the top candidates grew after Munger singled them out as "world-leading" performers in a 2015 letter to Berkshire shareholders.

To accommodate Abel and Jain in their new roles, Berkshire's board has voted to increase the number of directors from 12 to 14.

Berkshire owns more than 90 different companies in a variety of industries, including electric utilities, retail jewelers, insurance and BNSF railroad.

Jain, 66, was named vice chair of the insurance operations. Meanwhile, Jain, who's now executive vice president of National Indemnity, will be vice chairman of insurance operations. He now serves as executive vice president of National Indemnity Co.

The company is extremely decentralized with the subsidiaries largely running themselves on a daily basis.

Berkshire has grown to employ roughly 370,000 people, but only 25 of those work at the conglomerate's headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

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