It looks like Howard Buffett, the son of Warren Buffett and a director on the Berkshire Hathaway board, is ending his long-time career with Coca-Cola.
“I’ve enjoyed my more than 17 years of combined service to the boards of Coca-Cola Enterprises and The Coca-Cola Company and have the utmost respect and admiration for the work the company is doing… The company has exciting plans for the future and is poised to deliver even greater value to its many stakeholders in the years to come,” Buffett said in his statement.
Howard Buffett served as director on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises, the largest Coca-Cola bottler in North America and Western Europe, from 1993 until 2004. In 2010, Buffett joined the Coca-Cola Company’s Board of Directors.
The young Buffett is leaving Coca-Cola so that he can focus better on his other ventures, namely nonprofit work and conservation projects. Currently, he runs the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to help achieve sustainable agriculture, is the president of Buffett Farms in Nebraska, and operates a 1,500-acre farm in Illinois.
Muhtar Kent, the Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, even spoke out on the subject: “I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Howard for his years of exemplary service to our board and our system… He has provided valuable guidance as we have worked to imbed sustainability as a core value in our system while continuing to grow our business globally. We have all benefited greatly from his wisdom and wise counsel.”
This announcement and statement came just one day prior to Kent himself announcing that he would step down. While Kent will continue to be a chairman on the board, as he has since 2009, the new CEO will be James Quincey— an innovative mind with a focus on getting away from sugary drinks. Warren Buffett approves of this pick, and said that Coca-Cola made a smart choice with this.
Howard Buffett’s term as director for Coca-Cola will end in April of 2017, and he will not be seeking re-election. Now, he will have plenty of time to focus on his philanthropic ventures. Warren Buffett is hopeful that his son will remain on Berkshire’s board as a non-executive chairman long after he is gone.