Warren Buffett told shareholders the four candidates selected to possibly succeed him as Berkshire Hathaway's chief investment officer "did not cover themselves in glory."
But he adds, "I did not either. I am very tolerant in that respect... But their average over 10 years has been modestly to significantly better than average, and I would say that would be the case over the next 10 years."
None of the four, some Berkshire insiders and some outsides, beat the S&P 500 last year.
Buffett says there are still three internal candidates to take over his CEO role, including one who would step in immediately if Buffett died suddenly."If I drop dead tonight ... the board knows who ... and they would feel very good about that (person). Not too good I hope."
Why won't Buffett or Berkshire disclose the candidates' names? Buffett cities General Electric's experience, when Jeff Immelt was named the next CEO and the other two candidates left the company. "I don't see any advantage in having some crown prince around."
Current Berkshire stock prices:
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