Monday, February 27, 2012

Buffett praises Matt Rose leadership

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

If 81-year-old Warren Buffett has a short list of candidates to succeed him as head of Berkshire Hathaway, he did not directly allude to it in his annual message to shareholders, released Saturday.

Buffett did, however, have special praise for the leadership of three CEOs whom analysts believe to be on that list: BNSF Railway's Matthew Rose; Ajit Jain, head of Berkshire's reinsurance operations; and Ted Montross, who leads of a highly regarded insurance business.

Buffett, who paid $43 billion for BNSF, also suggested he should have become a railroad investor earlier. Referring to his purchase last year of a stake in IBM, he commented: "As was the case with Coca-Cola in 1988 and the railroads in 2006, I was late to the IBM party."