Two executives of Iscar Ltd. are candidates to succeed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) chairman and CEO Warren Buffett says "Wall Street Journal" columnist Jason Zweig: Iscar CFO Danny Goldman and CEO Jacob Harpaz.
Zweig bases his assessment on Buffett's annual letters to shareholders. Zweig ranks Goldman and Harpaz in 14th and 15th place as possible Buffett successors. They are far below the rankings of Ajit Jain, head of Berkshire's reinsurance group, whom Buffett sites 102 times in his annual letters, and Geico CEO Tony Nicely, who is cited 60 times. Buffett has written more than 400,000 words in his annual letters since 1977.
Last week, the 81-year old Buffett announced that he had stage 1 prostate cancer, the least malignant form of the disease, and that he will undergo chemotherapy. He is optimistic and says that he will continue running Berkshire Hathaway.
Nonetheless, the announcement raised concern about the day after Buffett, and who his successor will be. He has already said that Berkshire Hathaway's board of directors has picked a successor with two alternatives if necessary, but he has declined to mention any names.
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