Canadian Greg Abel To Succeed Warren Buffett As CEO Of Berkshire Hathaway

Canadian businessman Greg Abel has been tapped to succeed Warren Buffett as Chief Executive Officer of the Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) holding company.

Buffett, arguably the most famous and successful investor of all time, has long been cagey about who would succeed him as CEO of his multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, and speculation about Buffett’s successor has run rampant in recent years.

However, the speculation ended at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on May 1. In response to a question about whether the company would eventually be too complex to manage, Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger commented that "Greg will keep the culture."

Buffett is currently 90 years old and his partner Charlie Munger is age 97.

Buffett later confirmed that Abel will succeed him as head of Berkshire Hathaway, stating in a news release that: "The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning.”

Abel, age 59, is from Edmonton, and is a graduate of the University of Alberta. He currently runs all of Berkshire Hathaway’s non-insurance operations. Berkshire Vice-Chairman, Ajit Jain, runs all of Berkshire’s insurance operations and had also been a rumoured successor to Buffett.

The question of exactly who would take over after Buffett has been a source of speculation for more than 15 years now. For years, it was assumed that Buffett’s successor would be David Sokol, who ran both MidAmerican Energy, now called Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and NetJets.

But Sokol left Berkshire Hathaway in 2011 after it was disclosed he had taken on a $10-million stake in chemical company Lubrizol shortly before recommending Berkshire buy the company.

Berkshire Hathaway owns a vast number of businesses ranging from Geico insurance to the Dairy Queen fast food chain and Fruit of the Loom underwear. The company also owns energy companies and railways, and is one of the largest shareholders of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Coca-Cola(NYSE:KO) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), to name only a few of its many investments.