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Berkshire Weekend: Buffett on Hiring and Firing

|Includes: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A), BRK.B

Liz Claman of Fox Business Channel quotes or paraphrases the Berkshire chairman:

Question: When you acquire companies they come equipped with managers- Berkshire has done a great job putting the right leaders in the right roles. Occasionally you have to hire someone - what do you look for? How do you evaluate a person’s potential to be a great manager?

Buffett: We usually hire people who already are great managers.  The real question we have to ask is will they be with us in the future? We’ve made occasional mistakes - but we’ve had pretty good luck with managers. Since we have no retirement age - the toughest part is when managers lose the abilities they had at an earlier age. People age in very different ways and at different paces and Charlie and I have the problem of figuring out when somebody doesn’t have the same managerial abilities as they did at an earlier time. And we have to deal with it. And we hate it. We had a guy we both loved - he had Alzheimer’s and we didn’t want to face it. It’s the only part of my job I don’t like.