David Sokol appeared on CNBC this morning and commented on a variety of topics. In addition to his responsibilities as Chairman of MidAmerican Energy, Mr. Sokol recently assumed the Chairman and CEO positions at NetJets. It appears that Mr. Sokol is not only taking on more operational responsibilities at Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries but is also appearing in public more often and commenting on a wider range of topics.
Most of the concerns regarding Berkshire Hathaway succession issues are misguided. Warren Buffett cannot be replaced, but shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway should have confidence in the fact that very capable managers like Mr. Sokol are available if necessary. While the timing of a management transition cannot be predicted, Mr. Sokol’s age, increasing responsibilities, and media exposure leads me to believe that he must be close to the top of the list of Berkshire CEO candidates.
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Disclosure: The author owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway.