Originally Posted by wab
I read this recent interview
with Buffett.* * Nothing really interesting about the interview, but I noticed that the editor included several notes saying basically "this is where WB went off babbling on some tangent."
I couldn't help but wonder if the greater risk to BRK wasn't Buffett's death, but him staying at the helm too long.
I think any executive can overstay his welcome, whether he stays competent or not. And just because Buffett's giving it away doesn't mean he's giving away the reigns (so to speak)... that problem hasn't been solved yet.
I wonder what competence tests they use. Does he have to calculate a discounted future value before the board meetings can begin? Or will a simple game of bridge suffice?
I watched Bill, Melinda, & Warren on Charlie Rose. My FIL also worked that show for a number of years in the '70s & '80s, but it's the first time I've seen Charlie's schtick.
I'm gonna have to ask my FIL how it works, but I can't understand how Rose has stayed employed for so long and made so much money. He must be getting paid for his research skills or his contacts, because it sure ain't his ability to dress properly or speak clearly!
It's clear that Buffett is the quicker & deeper thinker and the faster guy with a punchline. He sees the humor in everything and he never stops chuckling. (In his situation, I guess I'd feel the same!) However he stutters at times and he actually has to close his eyes on camera once in a while to focus his thoughts. I doubt he's had any professional speech or presentation training-- what you see is what you get. He may say something to offend someone, and he'll apologize for the offense, but it never occurs to him to not say it in the first place. When everyone wants to be your friend (and pays $600K to have lunch with you) then I guess it never occurs to you to censor your own speech.
At this point in his life, Bill seems to be the complete opposite of Buffett. He's very quick with a response but it's usually the inoffensive media-appropriate public-consumption model, not what he's actually thinking. He's poised, polished, and probably a proud Toastmasters alumnus with a couple bezillion dollars of training. He cleans up good.
But when you watch the four of them, I believe that Melinda is the real brains behind the operation. It's hard to reconcile that with her "Bob" fiasco, but it's clear who's running the show today...