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Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?


spark411
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It seems like Buffett's successor will be Bill Gates.  Here are some reasons:

 

1.  Bill Gates is coming on TV together with Buffett when speaking about Berkshire. 

2.  Bill Gates' foundation owns a big % of Berkshire shares (much of which comes from Buffett).

3.  Bill Gates is young.

4.  Bill Gates is a combination of Buffett and Munger.

 

Curious what other people think of this.

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It seems like Buffett's successor will be Bill Gates.  Here are some reasons:

 

1.  Bill Gates is coming on TV together with Buffett when speaking about Berkshire. 

2.  Bill Gates' foundation owns a big % of Berkshire shares (much of which comes from Buffett).

3.  Bill Gates is young.

4.  Bill Gates is a combination of Buffett and Munger.

 

Curious what other people think of this.

They have already stated: Abel or Ajit.

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Why would Bill Gates want to perform the role?  What would his motivation be?

 

It is not adding to Bill's Wealth [he has enough], and it is not computers and software [some of his favorite subjects.].

 

I think Bill is a super guy, and he could totally do very well at the task, but I don't think running BRK on a week to week basis would motivate Bill.

 

 

Bill seems to be more interested in educating and advancing public health, emerging countries, etc.

 

 

My wild ass guess- I think Ajit Jain and Greg Abel [maybe with Todd and Ted] are going to be answering questions at the BRK annual SH meetings in the next 10 years.  Bill Gates will still be in the audience.

 

 

We are all in the land of the blind on this one, me included.

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Guest longinvestor

It seems like Buffett's successor will be Bill Gates.  Here are some reasons:

 

1.  Bill Gates is coming on TV together with Buffett when speaking about Berkshire. 

2.  Bill Gates' foundation owns a big % of Berkshire shares (much of which comes from Buffett).

3.  Bill Gates is young.

4.  Bill Gates is a combination of Buffett and Munger.

 

Curious what other people think of this.

They have already stated: Abel or Ajit.

 

They both are Vice Chairmen.

 

My speculation: Now and later. There will be a different Chairman & CEO whose only job will be to allocate capital. Abel and Jain will completely unburden the CEO from anything operational.

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It's been communicated pretty clearly.  Howard Buffett as Non-executive Chairman (consider this a done deal).  Greg Abel as CEO, possibly with Ajit running insurance, Ajit available if something happens before Greg gets the job (Ajit doesn't want the CEO job, but would take it if he needed to).  Bill Gates as lead independent director.

 

Greg Abel as the next CEO of Berkshire, at least the non-insurance businesses is basically a done deal.

 

(by the way, obviously less good than Buffett in many many ways - but what a rockstar group (Howard excepted))

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John Hjorth, why is Ajit Jain not physically well?

 

Anyway, I don't think Gates will be CEO. He left MSFT so he can spend full time at the foundation so it wouldn't make much sense.

 

I also don't think it's Jain or Abel. Just because they're on the board doesn't mean they will be CEO.

 

As longinvestor stated, I too think it will be someone who won't have to deal with anything operational. Think about it, Buffett spends 0 time on operations and he's the greatest capital allocator ever. Why give someone the CEO job now who will have to spend x % of their time on operations and thus less than 100% on capital allocation?

 

Both Jain and Abel are experts in their respective industries, so why pull them away to run the rest of Berkshire. Better to give the gig to someone who does capital allocation for a living, someone like Ted and Todd.

 

-It's their full time job right now anyway.

-They have been involved in various acquisition roles (PCP for Todd, Detlev for Ted).

-They're young as opposed to Jain who is nearing 70

 

It preserves the current set up - the chief capital allocator on one side and the operations on the other side. It doesn't mix up the two. The capital allocator can spend all of his time reading. No need for dividing time or for a management shake up at BH Energy which is poised to spend like $100 billion on capex in the coming decade - better to have Greg Abel focus on that. Of course better to keep Ajit focused on his insurance expertise.

 

I also think it's easier to have the chief capital allocator be the chief investment officer so they can run all big investment opportunities through a single lens instead of having 2 parties compete for capital. Keeps things much smoother and is how Buffett operated all these years.

 

Abel and Jain are the 2 most powerful people at Berkshire next to Buffett, so it makes sense they get their place on the board to keep the new CEO(s) in check.

 

I've said this before. Am willing to bet a small $ amount with anyone that it will be Todd, Ted or a combination of the two.

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Meph, I agree that Todd or Ted would probably be great choices, but I'll bet you $1.00 that Greg Abel is the next CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

 

http://jarviscity.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/trading-places-bet-scene.jpg

 

 

 

 

("Both Jain and Abel are experts in their respective industries, so why pull them away to run the rest of Berkshire." - already happened with Abel)

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It seems like Buffett's successor will be Bill Gates.  Here are some reasons:

 

1.  Bill Gates is coming on TV together with Buffett when speaking about Berkshire. 

2.  Bill Gates' foundation owns a big % of Berkshire shares (much of which comes from Buffett).

3.  Bill Gates is young.

4.  Bill Gates is a combination of Buffett and Munger.

 

Curious what other people think of this.

 

#4 baffles me. Why woyld you say that?  Gates made a great, and sometimes ruthless, leader of a software company, but how is that anything like Buffett and Munger, or a combination of the two?

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My observation is that once people reach a certain level of wealth, their attention turns to legacy.  I don't think Gates would want the job cause there's no upside for his legacy.

 

However, if his foundation is able to solve various world problems i.e. malaria, re-imagining education that would be do much more for his legacy.

 

 

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Did anyone else notice that WEB doesn't seem to be interested in Gates's opinions on investing in individual companies. Did he even ask Gates about Apple? I don't think so. On CNBC recently someone was asking WEB about Apple and WEB looked over at CM for an opinion on something. Gates was sitting right there and being ignored. Leads me to believe WEB might think of BG as a one trick pony.

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It seems like Buffett's successor will be Bill Gates.  Here are some reasons:

 

1.  Bill Gates is coming on TV together with Buffett when speaking about Berkshire. 

2.  Bill Gates' foundation owns a big % of Berkshire shares (much of which comes from Buffett).

3.  Bill Gates is young.

4.  Bill Gates is a combination of Buffett and Munger.

 

Curious what other people think of this.

 

#4 baffles me. Why woyld you say that?  Gates made a great, and sometimes ruthless, leader of a software company, but how is that anything like Buffett and Munger, or a combination of the two?

 

Buffett was far from a benign leader.  He could be ruthless when he needed to be...Sokol's firing, Salmon Brothers incident, the original takeover of Berkshire because he got screwed over on 1/8th of a dollar. 

 

I can't imagine a better Chairman than Gates.  Howard is a very nice fellow, but really I think shareholder's would be best served with Gates as non-executive Chairman.  Who else in the world would better understand how to maintain a moat through thick and thin? 

 

He became the richest person in the world when he was a little older than Zuckerberg, and remained so for most of the last 30 years once Sam Walton's wealth was split up and until all of the other tech wonderkinds took over the world.  In this type of environment he has not only endured, but survived and maintained his wealth, all the while creating the greatest philanthropic foundation in history, funded by his best friend who was often the 2nd richest man in the world over the same 30 years!  And he's still young enough to Chair Berkshire for another 30 years!  Cheers!

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Did anyone else notice that WEB doesn't seem to be interested in Gates's opinions on investing in individual companies. Did he even ask Gates about Apple? I don't think so. On CNBC recently someone was asking WEB about Apple and WEB looked over at CM for an opinion on something. Gates was sitting right there and being ignored. Leads me to believe WEB might think of BG as a one trick pony.

 

Are you kidding me!  Bill Gates has his hands in as many industries as Buffett through Cascade Investments.  Gates might have made his fortune in technology, but I suspect he'd be an extraordinary money manager.  I would certainly put him ahead of Li Lu!  And Munger is a huge fan of Li Lu's.  Cheers!

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I agree Gates would be, and probably is, a great money manager.  But Michael Larson manages Cascade and is a great manager in his own right.  I have no idea what their arrangement is in terms of Larson getting full autonomy to make decisions but I have the impression Gates is primarily involved in the private stuff (VC investment, Four Seasons, etc) and Larson has full oversight of the public securities portfolio - in both the foundation and Cascade.

 

edit: more on Larson, who has a dream job for sure:

https://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1999/03/15/256491/index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Larson_(businessman)

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I agree Gates would be, and probably is, a great money manager.  But Michael Larson manages Cascade and is a great manager in his own right.  I have no idea what their arrangement is in terms of Larson getting full autonomy to make decisions but I have the impression Gates is primarily involved in the private stuff (VC investment, Four Seasons, etc) and Larson has full oversight of the public securities portfolio - in both the foundation and Cascade.

 

edit: more on Larson, who has a dream job for sure:

https://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1999/03/15/256491/index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Larson_(businessman)

 

Absolutely!  But Gates hired Larson, who has been doing the job for over 20 years now.  If you are looking for someone to put quality people in place, I think Bill Gates not only has the contacts, he has the same respect Buffett does in terms of people wanting to work for him.  That would make an ideal Chairman, especially since so much of Berkshire stock will be in the Gates Foundation...essentially, they will be the largest shareholder.  Cheers!

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It seems like Buffett's successor will be Bill Gates.  Here are some reasons:

 

1.  Bill Gates is coming on TV together with Buffett when speaking about Berkshire. 

2.  Bill Gates' foundation owns a big % of Berkshire shares (much of which comes from Buffett).

3.  Bill Gates is young.

4.  Bill Gates is a combination of Buffett and Munger.

 

Curious what other people think of this.

 

#4 baffles me. Why woyld you say that?  Gates made a great, and sometimes ruthless, leader of a software company, but how is that anything like Buffett and Munger, or a combination of the two?

 

Buffett was far from a benign leader.  He could be ruthless when he needed to be...Sokol's firing, Salmon Brothers incident, the original takeover of Berkshire because he got screwed over on 1/8th of a dollar. 

 

I can't imagine a better Chairman than Gates.  Howard is a very nice fellow, but really I think shareholder's would be best served with Gates as non-executive Chairman.  Who else in the world would better understand how to maintain a moat through thick and thin? 

 

He became the richest person in the world when he was a little older than Zuckerberg, and remained so for most of the last 30 years once Sam Walton's wealth was split up and until all of the other tech wonderkinds took over the world.  In this type of environment he has not only endured, but survived and maintained his wealth, all the while creating the greatest philanthropic foundation in history, funded by his best friend who was often the 2nd richest man in the world over the same 30 years!  And he's still young enough to Chair Berkshire for another 30 years!  Cheers!

 

Chairman certainly, CEO no.  Berkshire is a different animal than Microsoft. Different skills and talents are needed.

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Buffett knows well that that the #1 job of a CEO is capital allocation. Gates has proved to be an excellent allocator in the technology area when he was in his prime. Gates pretty much dropped the ball on the growth and importance of internet.

 

My sincere hope is that Buffett does a better job than Welch in selecting a successor. Look at the carnage at GE. Even if Buffett picks someone who has 10% of his patience, acumen, temperament and business sense, then Berkshire will have  bright future.

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... Gates is a great resource, but the CEO should be the COB.

 

As Dane - English not being my mother tongue - I have to ask: What is "COB" an abbreviation for here? [i understand it here in this particular context as "the decision to make when the time is due for it - not even a second before that."]

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Buffett knows well that that the #1 job of a CEO is capital allocation. Gates has proved to be an excellent allocator in the technology area when he was in his prime. Gates pretty much dropped the ball on the growth and importance of internet.

 

My sincere hope is that Buffett does a better job than Welch in selecting a successor. Look at the carnage at GE. Even if Buffett picks someone who has 10% of his patience, acumen, temperament and business sense, then Berkshire will have  bright future.

 

Name one technology CEO from Gates era that got it perfectly right.  Also, he essentially stepped down in 2000, before the internet even really took off and essentially handed everything over to Ballmer to focus on extracurricular activities and his private wealth. 

 

Gates remains in the top five wealthiest people in the world by any measure, and pretty much in all calculations stands second to Bezos.  How badly did he really drop the ball!  Cheers!

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