Warren Buffett leads the 4th largest company in the world, Berkshire Hathaway. His conglomerate is worth nearly $400 billion and at this point most of his money makes itself. It has long been discussed what will happen to Berkshire after Buffett cannot act as CEO and Chairman anymore, and while he hasn’t let us know who exactly will take over, Buffett assures us it will be someone capable.
With the thought of Berkshire Hathaway without Buffett, something that hasn’t happened since 1965 when Berkshire was still a textile company, comes a question— What does the Oracle of Omaha want for Berkshire? More money? More diversity? More strategy?
“I hope for two things: decent performance, and that the culture is maintained,” Buffett said during his shareholder meeting back in 2008.
Berkshire Hathaway has come to be known for its pristine reputation, in fact, their culture is so well-respected that it often opens up the company to better opportunities for acquisitions at more fair prices than their rivals. As far as decent performance, Berkshire shares hit an all-time high of $250,000 per share in the last month— that’s something Buffett could surely be proud (yet humble) about.
“We are shareholder and manager oriented. We want to be the best home in the world for wonderful familty businesses,” Buffett went on to say, “I hope in 20 years that fine businesses will immediately think that if they have to sell their business, they would sell it to Berkshire.”
Ultimately, I find Buffett’s response admirable. He doesn’t say that he just wants Berkshire to continue raking in money (even though by buying fine businesses, they would profit) but rather he focuses on the companies character and continuing to hold influence that way.
Of course, don’t put it past Buffett to make light of the situation with a joke; “We also want it to have the oldest living managers,” he finished with a laugh.