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How Warren Buffett, set to turn 94 this year, is thinking about his age and his business

Hannah Getahun   

How Warren Buffett, set to turn 94 this year, is thinking about his age and his business
  • Warren Buffett made several jokes about his age during Saturday's annual shareholder meeting.
  • Buffett will be turning 94 this year and has already made plans for a successor.

Warren Buffett is very aware that he won't be at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway forever.

The 93-year-old Berkshire Hathaway Chairman took the stage on Saturday at the company's annual shareholder meeting to reflect on how the company should operate when he no longer calls the shots.

Buffett, who took over the investment company in 1965, has long expressed the desire to keep making decisions at Berkshire Hathaway for as long as he can — he said during the meeting that "anybody that wants to retire at 65 would be disqualified from being CEO of Berkshire."

But the multi-billionaire acknowledged, humorously at times, that he does have his limits.

Buffett expressed thoughts about how the company will move forward without him — though the nonagenarian said he felt "fine" at his age.

"I know a little bit about actuarial tables and I would say this: I shouldn't be taking on any four-year employment contracts like several people are doing in this world," Buffett said, per CNBC.

Buffett said that Greg Abel, his hand-picked successor and former CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, would take control of investing decisions when he passed.

"I would leave the capital allocation to Greg and he understands businesses extremely well," Buffett said during the meeting's Q&A portion, per CNBC. "If you understand businesses, you'll understand common stocks."

Beyond his own mortality, Buffett also reflected on the death of his longtime business partner and friend, Charlie Munger, who died in November of last year. During Saturday's presentation, the chairman accidentally referred to Abel, his new right-hand man, as Munger.

Abel took it in stride, calling it a "great honor" to be mistaken for Munger.

Buffett also discussed his decision to slash the company's stake in Apple, aired his concerns about AI and deepfakes, and articulated his hope to keep going long enough for next year's shareholders meeting.

"I not only hope you come next year, but I hope I come next year," Buffett said in his sign-off.

Representatives for Buffett did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.




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