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Jain, Abel appointments a move toward succession at Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett

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Billionaire Warren Buffett told CNBC on Wednesday the appointment of two new vice chairs at Berkshire Hathaway is "part of a movement to succession over time."

Billionaire Warren Buffett told CNBC on Wednesday the appointment of two new vice chairs at Berkshire Hathaway is "part of a movement to succession over time."
In a new development over who might eventually take over for Buffett, the Omaha-based conglomerate announced on Wednesday the appointment of Gregory Abel, 55, as vice chairman of noninsurance businesses, and Ajit Jain, 66, as vice chairman of insurance operations.
"They are the key figures," said Buffett in a "Squawk Box" interview from Omaha. "They both have Berkshire in their blood."
Buffett, 87, and his 94-year-old longtime partner, Charlie Munger, are staying in their respective positions as chairman and CEO and vice chairman.
Addressing the timing of the move, Buffett said he's in "remarkably good health" considering his age. He said jokingly, "I wasn't much to start with."
Responding to an analyst report that predicted Buffett could run Berkshire for the next 10 years, the Oracle of Omaha said that sounds a bit long without getting anymore specific.
"I love what I do," he said.
The hard-driving Buffett, who has been reluctant to name a successor, said in the past that Berkshire's board knows who would take over if something were to happen to him. Speculation had centered on Abel and Jain as possibilities.
Buffett told CNBC that elevating Abel and Jain would have also made sense five years ago.
To accommodate Abel and Jain in their new roles, Berkshire's board has voted to increase the number of directors from 12 to 14.
It was Munger's idea for Abel, Jain, and himself to all have vice chair titles, Buffett said.
Abel joined Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company in 1992 and currently serves as its chairman and CEO. Jain joined the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group in 1986 and currently serves as executive vice president of National Indemnity Company with overall responsibility for leading Berkshire's reinsurance operations.

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