Did Buffett Fire Benjamin Moore CEO Because Of A Bermuda Cruise?

Warren Buffett, President and CEO of powerhouse investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, recently denied the reports that he had replaced Benjamin Moore’s CEO because he took a company paid yacht trip to Bermuda. Home Channel News was recently contacted by a spokeswoman from Berkshire Hathaway named Diana Dozier.

She contacted them one week after the New York Post ran their story that Denis Abrams’ firing happened because of the dinner cruise that he took with his top executives in order to celebrate Benjamin Moore’s first increase in sales since the year 2007. Abrams was the CEO of Benjamin Moore for a total of seven years.

“Mr. Abrams was let go due to the difference in strategy,” said Dozier. Diana Dozier also referenced a letter that Warren Buffett personally wrote to Abrams saying that he was expected to leave because of “a differing view about distribution channels and brand strategy.”

Robert Merritt, also known as Bob, replaced Abrams very quickly as the new CEO and president of Benjamin Moore paints. Although Merritt does not have any specific experience in the paint industry, he does have over 30 years of management experience which he acquired in the food preparation and distribution industries as well as the restaurant business.

He was the senior vice president and CFO of Outback Steakhouse Inc., where he successfully oversaw the IPO in 1991, as well as their listing on the NYSE. His resume also includes a very impressive increase in growth of the Outback Steakhouse franchise. While he was in charge, Outback grew from five restaurants in Florida to more than 1250 locations spread out throughout 22 countries across the world.

Bob Merritt also expanded the brand by adding seven different types of restaurant concepts into the mix. They now boast ownership of such restaurants as Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Roy’s, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

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