Monday, May 4, 2009
Ajit Jain may succeed Warren Buffett as CEO
WASHINGTON: India born Ajit Jain is one of three top executives who could succeed billionaire investor Warran Buffett as CEO of the investment giant, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
But no one knows when the change will occur as the 78-year-old Buffett has not indicated when he plans to call it a day. On Saturday, Buffett once again had flattering things to say about Jain, who has worked for him since 1986, currently runs his re-insurance business and is one whom he talks with every day.
At the company’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett said it would be impossible to replace Jain at Berkshire’s insurance operations, remarking: ‘‘Ajit is needed, and we won’t find a substitute for him.’’
‘‘You can do enormous damage in the insurance business with your pen, and we’ve given our pen to Ajit in a way we wouldn’t give it to anybody else,” he said.
The legendary investor’s job will eventually be split with his son, Howard, succeeding him as chairman, and a still to be chosen Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.
Born in Orissa, the 57-year-old Jain is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and the Harvard Business School.
The other two top contenders from within the Berkshire empire for the CEO perch are David Sokol, chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, and Tony Nicely, CEO of the company’s GEICO Corp.
According to reports, while the candidates for CEO already work for Berkshire, at least one of the contenders for the post of Chief Investment Officer is an outsider.
Buffett sees little logic in choosing the CEO successor well ahead. Reports quoted him as commenting that he doesn’t see any value in naming the person as the other two not chosen might leave Berkshire.As he put it, ‘It would be a waste of talent. I don’t really see any advantages in having some crown prince around.’’
As for Jain, this is not the first time that Buffett has showered praise on him.
‘‘Ajit’s value to Berkshire is enormous,’’ he said in 2004. In a comment a year ago, Buffett said: "Ajit came to Berkshire in 1986. Very quickly, I realised that we had acquired an extraordinary talent. So I did the logical thing: I wrote his parents in New Delhi and asked if they had another one like him at home. Of course, I knew the answer before writing. There isn’t anyone like Ajit."
For Berkshire Hathaway, as for most of Corporate America, it has been a bad time. Its first-quarter operating profit has fallen and the company’s book value is down by 6 percent. The operating profit is down 12 percent compared to a year ago.
As for the four candidates deemed to be in the race to replace him as Chief Investment Officer, Buffett commented: "In terms of 2008 by itself, you would not say that they covered themselves with glory. But I didn’t cover myself in glory either in 2008."
Latest Jain News
MOST VIEWED NEWS
Recently I visited Udaygiri-Khandgiri caves near Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa. While other devotee Jains were putting their heads on the feet of L...
TOI NEW DELHI: People belonging to minority groups, including Muslims, Jains and Sikh, will now need a certificate to prove their religious...
In the elections of Maharashtra Legislative assembly, 7 MLAs from Jain community were elected. Here is the list of the elected MLAs. 1. Cha...
A question is being asked that How to get a minority certificate? Who will issue a minority certificate etc. The answer is that there is...
TOI BELGAUM: The Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha will honour 19 achievers with different awards during its 91st quarterly session which is schedu...
UK Jains Prepare To Celebrate Traditional Festival By Emma Foster, Community Newswire Jains across the UK are preparing to celebrate their ...
Chandigarh: It was now or never for 28-year-old Lalit Jain, who, despite three unsuccessful UPSC attempts, did not lose patience. Braving t...
March 8: The state government declared on Monday that along with Muslims and Christians, Jains too will be considered as religious minorit...
My Views On Conversion to Jainism In reply of the renowned scholar Kancha Illaiah, Hem Raj Jain has suggested that oppressed classes may tr...
By Team Mangalorean Photographs: Rajesh Shetty ULLAL, March 21, 2008: The 16th century old Chowta Rani Ullal Abbakkadevi Basadi a hallowed...