Buffett Successor Picked, But Not Named

Feb 27 2012 | 4:00am ET

Berkshire Hathaway has decided who will have to try to fill the biggest shoes in the investing world—but it's not saying who just yet.

The company's board of directors has settled on who will succeed Warren Buffett as CEO. But Buffett offered no clue as to who it might be—or when the 81-year-old plans to let go of the reins.

Over the past two years, Buffett has hired two hedge fund managers to help him manage Berkshire's billions and tapped another as a possible successor. Peninsula Capital Partners' Ted Wechsler joined Berkshire last year and Castle Point Capital's Todd Combs in 2010. Both have been mentioned as possible heirs to Buffett's seat.

In addition, Geico CEO Tony Nicely, reinsurance chief Ajit Jain and board member and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have been floated as possible future Berkshire CEOs.

Buffett told Berkshire shareholders that the board was "enthusiastic" about its choice, and that it has "two superb back-up candidates as well."

"Do not, however, infer from this discussion that [Vice Chairman] Charlie [Munger] and I are going anywhere," Buffett said reassuringly. "We continue to be in excellent health, and we love what we do."

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