As thousands of investors poured into Omaha last weekend to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, many pondered the unthinkable... life after Warren Buffett.
The 79-year-old Buffett, who has developed legions of adoring shareholders, has run Berkshire for 45 years. He has transformed it from an ailing textile mill into a multi-billion conglomerate, selling things such as car insurance, ice cream, paint and underwear.
As Buffett sat on a stage, eating peanut brittle and fudge, Reuters reports the 'Sage of Omaha' was reassuring shareholders he is healthy, despite a diet he said drives his doctor "nuts".
Buffett says Berkshire's succession plans are well prepared. His position would be split, with a chief executive and perhaps three or four chief investment officers.
"If I die tonight there will be a new CEO within 24 hours," Buffett says.
The most mentioned candidates to replace Buffett are David Sokol and Ajit Jain. Buffett lavished praise on both during Saturday's conference.
Sokol chairs Berkshire's MidAmerican Energy unit and runs its NetJets plane leasing unit, while Jain is the company's top insurance executive.
DB and a lack of alignment
Encouraging better use of tech
Win one of three £20 Amazon vouchers
Vanguard's multi-asset range