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Buffett’s big men: some never went to college

business Updated: Feb 27, 2011 21:49 IST

Providing a sneak-peek into Berkshire Hathaway’s management, legendary investor Warren Buffett has said his group's chief executive officers are “volunteers” rather than mercenaries.

“Berkshire's CEOs come in many forms. Some have MBAs; others never finished college. Some use budgets and are by-the-book types; others operate by the seat of their pants,” Buffett said in his annual letter.

According to him, many of the CEOs work only because they love what they do. “They are volunteers, not mercenaries. Because no one can offer them a job they would enjoy more, they can’t be lured away,” he said.

Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company, owning subsidiaries that are into various businesses. Each business unit has a chief executive officer.

“At Berkshire, managers can focus on running their businesses: They simply get a letter from me every two years and call me when they wish. There are managers to whom I have not talked in the last year, while there is one with whom I talk almost daily," Buffett wrote.

Special praise for Ajit Jain

Ajit Jain, long rumoured contender to succeed arren Buffett came in for special praise in the letter. Jain, who has been with the conglomerate for over 25 years, is in charge of the reinsurance group.

"By his accomplishments, he has added a great many billions of dollars to the value of Berkshire. Even kryptonite bounces off Ajit," Buffett said.

PTI, New york