27 jun: IWC lancerer Big Pilot special edition i anledning af EM i fodbol..
28 jun: Når lav risiko giver højt afkast
27-06-2012 21:03:00

UPDATE: Buffett Ousts Benjamin Moore CEO for Strategy, Not Party

Relateret indhold

--Warren Buffett says Benjamin Moore CEO ousted over "differing views" on strategy

--Mr. Buffett calls report that tied CEO departure to party on a boat "completely false"

--Mr. Buffett says he has "no objection" to party for senior executives

(Adds comments from Mr. Buffett's letter in the seventh paragraph, and comments from departed CEO beginning in the 10th paragraph.)

By Erik Holm

The ousted chief executive at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s (BRKA, BRKB) Benjamin Moore & Co. may not have been sunk by a lavish party on a boat after all.

Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway, wrote in a letter to the departed CEO, Denis Abrams, that the decision to replace him "was based on a differing view about distribution channels and brand strategy." It wasn't because Mr. Abrams had reportedly hosted a gathering of senior Benjamin Moore executives on a boat in Bermuda just weeks prior to his firing, Mr. Buffett said.

Earlier this month, the New York Post reported the party may have proved to be the final straw in causing Mr. Buffett to fire Mr. Abrams. The Post also said the paint company had made several strategic missteps and asserted that employee morale had fallen on Mr. Abrams' watch.

"The recent story coupling a top management convocation on a boat with the decision to make a management change at Benjamin Moore is completely false," Mr. Buffett wrote in the letter to Mr. Abrams. "I had never heard of the boat trip prior to reading about it in the paper on June 14. There was no reason for you to let me know about the meeting and, if you had, I would have had no objection to it at all."

The letter, dated June 21, was provided to Dow Jones Newswires by a representative of Mr. Abrams. Its authenticity was confirmed by Mr. Buffett's assistant.

Mr. Buffett, whose conglomerate includes car insurer Geico Corp., railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe, ice-cream maker Dairy Queen and dozens of other companies, is famous for his hands-off management style when it comes to individual units under the Berkshire umbrella. He has said he delegates authority to the heads of Berkshire's subsidiaries "almost to the point of abdication."

In the letter to Mr. Abrams, Mr. Buffett said "no one can know which of us will be proven right" in their disagreement, "but it was a decision of key importance and therefore one I needed to make."

Berkshire bought Montvale, N.J.-based Benjamin Moore in late 2000 for about $1 billion. Mr. Abrams took over as CEO in 2007, just before housing-related businesses across the U.S. began suffering massive sales declines amid the mortgage crisis. But in 2010, he was identified in Mr. Buffett's widely read annual shareholder letter as being among Berkshire managers who headed "companies at which profits improved even as sales contracted, always an exceptional managerial achievement."

But the Post said Mr. Abrams hurt the company by firing veteran sales executives, introducing new product lines and clashing with distributors.

Mr. Abrams declined through a representative to comment, but said in a written statement that his departure "was about strategy and not performance.

"I leave Benjamin Moore the strongest it has ever been," he said in the statement. "The brand is at its peak, it has the best array of products ever, its dealer relationships are excellent, and it produces record financial results."

Mr. Abrams was replaced by Robert Merritt, a longtime executive in the restaurant industry. Mr. Merritt is a director at Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc. (RUTH) and Cosi Inc. (COSI), a board he chaired until 2010. He also served as chief financial officer of the company behind the Outback Steakhouse chain.

A spokeswoman for Benjamin Moore confirmed Mr. Merritt had replaced Mr. Abrams but declined further comment.

Mr. Buffett is famous for lavishly praising successful Berkshire managers--but leveling criticisms only behind closed doors. Even when executives depart under a cloud, he has been known to praise them publicly.

When David Sokol, once thought to be in line to replace Mr. Buffett, left amid revelations he had purchased stock in a company before suggesting that Berkshire acquire it, Mr. Buffett said his "contributions have been extraordinary." He credited Mr. Sokol with turning around troubled Berkshire units, including fractional-jet business NetJets.

Yet in 2009, Mr. Buffett said he accepted the resignation of Sokol's NetJets predecessor, Rick Santulli, "with reluctance" and said "his vision and energy has made NetJets the leader that it is today" without mentioning its problems. Only later did Mr. Buffett describe the unit's financial results as "a failure" and admit it had been "hemorrhaging" cash--without mentioning Santulli by name.

Write to Erik Holm at erik.holm@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 27, 2012 15:03 ET (19:03 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Opret kommentar

Relateret debat

  • 1 uge
  • 1 måned
  • 1 År
15 jan
BRK.B
Det skal ikke vaere nogen hemmelighed, at jeg er temmelig stor fan af Buffett. Her nogle af mine fav..
5

Fondsbørsmeddelelser

Novo Nordisk/Goldman: Diabetestablet vil få den høje vækst tilbage

19-01-2018 15:11:36
Novo Nordisk står med et meget stærkt kort på hånden, hvis selskabet får en tabletudgave af det store væksthåb Ozempic (Semaglutid) godkendt og sendt på markedet.Det mener den amerikanske investeringsbank Goldman Sachs, der vurderer, at investorerne på aktiemarkedet ikke har taget tilstrækkeligt højde for de store muligheder for diabetesmidlet.Derfor har banken hævet sit kursmål for Novo Nordisk-a..

WDH/SEB: Amerikansk høreapparatmarked vokser mere end ventet

19-01-2018 14:35:39
Der var mere fart på den private del af det amerikanske høreapparatmarked i slutningen af 2017, end den svenske bank SEB havde ventet.Det skriver Bloomberg News på baggrund af en analyse fra SEB.Den private del af det amerikanske høreapparatmarked voksede 7,3 pct. i fjerde kvartal mod 2,8 pct. i tredje kvartal ifølge tal fra American Hearing Aid Association. Det var højere, end SEB har ventet, og ..

Aktier/åbning: Børshuse skubber Chr. Hansen og Novo til tops

19-01-2018 09:23:02
Chr. Hansen og Novo Nordisk er strøget til tops på det danske aktiemarked og medvirker til at hive det danske C25-indeks i et solidt plus fredag morgen.Stemningen var ellers svagt negativ i futuremarkedet indtil kort før åbningen.C25-indekset stiger 0,5 pct. til 1160,09 og ligger til et samlet plus på 0,8 pct. i denne uge.Især Chr. Hansen er sprunget i vejret fra åbningen. Aktien stiger 3,9 pct. t..

Mest læste nyheder

  • 24 timer
  • 48 timer
  • 1 uge

Relaterede aktiekurser

Berkshire Hathaway Inc 320.238,00 0,0% Aktiekurs uændret
Berkshire Hathaway Inc N.. 213,25 0,0% Aktiekurs uændret

Køb- og salgsanbefalinger

  • Trend
  • Pengemaskinen

Copyright Euroinvestor A/S 2018  Disclaimer Privatlivspolitik
Aktieinformation leveres af Morningstar.
Data er forsinket 15-20 minutter iht. de enkelte børsers regler om videredistribution.
 
22. januar 2018 05:16:44
(UTC+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris
Version: LiveBranchBuild_20180112.1 - EUROWEB1 - 2018-01-22 05:16:44 - 2018-01-22 05:16:44 - 1 - Website: OKAY