When Buffett is gone, Abel will take over as Berkshire CEO

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FILE - Greg Abel is seen at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., in this Saturday, May 5, 2018, file photo. Vice Chairman Greg Abel will succeed billionaire Warren Buffett as Berkshire Hathaway CEO, according to a report. Buffett confirmed the succession plan to CNBC on Monday, May 3, 2021, after Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger hinted at the news during the company's annual meeting on Saturday. The 90-year-old Buffett told CNBC that if anything happened to him, Abel would be the one to take the top post. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

OMAHA, Neb. – Vice Chairman Greg Abel will succeed billionaire Warren Buffett as Berkshire Hathaway CEO, according to a report.

Buffett confirmed the succession plan Monday to CNBC after Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger let slip the plan during during the company's annual meeting on Saturday. Buffett did not immediately respond Monday to questions from The Associated Press about the plan.

The 90-year-old Buffett told CNBC that if anything happened to him, Abel, who currently oversees all of Berkshire's non-insurance companies, would be the one to take the top post. Buffett said that if for some reason Abel couldn't do the job, then Vice Chairman Ajit Jain, who oversees Geico and all of Berkshire's other insurance units, would become CEO.

During an exchange at the annual meeting about the importance of protecting Berkshire's culture in the future, Buffett said Berkshire's extremely decentralized operating model won't work unless the company has the right culture.

Munger responded: “But we do, and Greg will keep the culture.”

Buffett has said he has no plans to retire.

Berkshire has long planned to split Buffett's job into three parts when he is gone: a CEO to oversee capital allocation and Berkshire's operations, investment managers to handle Berkshire's stock portfolio and a separate board chairman.

In the past, Buffett has declined to name the next CEO except to say that one of Berkshire's managers would take the job, but Abel was seen as a likely candidate. Buffett has said he wants the next CEO to have a long tenure leading the conglomerate and Abel is currently 59.