Berkshire Hathaway Urges Shareholders to Continue Discussing Social and Political Issues

Bullion Bite
Berkshire Hathaway Urges Shareholders to Continue Discussing Social and Political Issues

Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate led by Warren Buffett, is urging its shareholders to reject proposals that call for avoiding hot-button social and political issues. The company is also urging shareholders to reject competing proposals that require disclosure about climate change and diversity efforts. The proposals were made ahead of the company's annual meeting, which will take place on May 6th. The proposals were made by the American Conservative Values ETF, which called on Berkshire Hathaway to "avoid supporting or taking a public position" on controversial social and political issues unless their businesses required it.

Despite the proposals, Berkshire Hathaway said that its decentralized structure allows its units to operate independently with minimal involvement from Buffett and his top lieutenants. It also stated that it was "inconsistent with Berkshire's culture" to dictate what not to say. In the past, shareholder proposals that Buffett opposes have typically failed by large margins because he controls 31.5% of Berkshire's voting power. Berkshire's more than $60 billion of stock repurchases since the end of 2019 helps preserve Buffett's voting power.

Last year, proposals on climate change and diversity won support from only about one-quarter of votes cast, while just 11% supported replacing Buffett as chairman. Berkshire's businesses include Geico car insurance, the BNSF railroad, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, and many others. Buffett's salary is low, but his 15.6% Berkshire stake comprises most of his $101.6 billion net worth, making him the world's sixth-richest person, according to Forbes magazine.

Berkshire Hathaway's Vice Chairmen Greg Abel and Ajit Jain were each awarded $19 million for a fourth straight year. Buffett sets their pay. If Warren Buffett is unable to continue, Abel would become chief executive, and Buffett's son Howard Buffett would become non-executive chairman. The annual proxy filing also revealed that Buffett received $401,589 in compensation for 2022, up 8% from 2021, comprising his usual $100,000 salary plus personal and home security.

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Bullion Bite uses cookies to enhance your experience. How We Use Cookies?
Ok, Go it!