Author Topic: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?  (Read 3574 times)

Parsad

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2018, 12:08:01 PM »
Buffett knows well that that the #1 job of a CEO is capital allocation. Gates has proved to be an excellent allocator in the technology area when he was in his prime. Gates pretty much dropped the ball on the growth and importance of internet.

My sincere hope is that Buffett does a better job than Welch in selecting a successor. Look at the carnage at GE. Even if Buffett picks someone who has 10% of his patience, acumen, temperament and business sense, then Berkshire will have  bright future.

Name one technology CEO from Gates era that got it perfectly right.  Also, he essentially stepped down in 2000, before the internet even really took off and essentially handed everything over to Ballmer to focus on extracurricular activities and his private wealth. 

Gates remains in the top five wealthiest people in the world by any measure, and pretty much in all calculations stands second to Bezos.  How badly did he really drop the ball!  Cheers!
Well maybe a lot of others didn't get it perfectly right. But someone seriously dropped the ball at Microsoft. I don't know I can't really tell if it's Gates, Balmer, or organizational inertia/incompetence.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like Microsoft, it's incredibly successful, I own a lot of it and made a lot of money owning it. But if you go back and read their ARs like way back, it is freakishly weird how well they called the future. About most things. Search, mobile, etc - not so much online shopping. So they had the insight. They had the vision. But they failed to execute - i.e. dropped the ball. If they did follow through and executed on their vision Microsoft would be worth at least 4 times what they are now. That's in excess of a trillion bucks. These are mind bending numbers to leave on the table. For a Microsoft shareholder that is tragic.

I'm not talking about Microsoft.  I'm talking about Gates.  Charlie Munger sits on the board of Costco, knew Gates and Buffett, and still Costco will have a hard time in the future with Amazon.  Does that mean someone dropped the ball at Costco, or simply a better CEO came along with a better model? 

Great CEO's are often discarded because their companies failed to prosper relative to history, but even if they continued to prosper relative to industry, they are still relegated as mediocre leaders. 

Do people really think that a Berkshire run by Greg Abel, where insurance is run by Ajit Jain and the board by Bill Gates, isn't going to work?  Cheers!
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. Sure, Gates is Gates, and Microsoft is Microsoft. They're both really successful. But when I'm talking about these insights Gates was maybe even CEO of Microsoft. Probably around the borderline. And I'm not talking here about someone else coming with a better model. They had the model! Almost to a tee! Then someone else did it. That's pretty infuriating from a shareholder's point of view.

Now one may say that Gates doesn't care about that, that he's made enough money and he's now focused on curing malaria and AIDS. Btw, I admire a lot what the Gates foundation has achieved and what it aims to achieve. But wouldn't they be in a stronger position to achieve goals if Gates had 150 billion instead of 50 billion? That's the Buffett philanthropic principle.

Gates left the CEO job in 2000.  He has nearly $100B and is right behind Bezos.  Now he's managed his wealth better than Buffett...does that make him a better CEO than Buffett?  Of course not.  Just like Gates isn't a worse CEO than Bezos, Zuckerberg or the Google co-founders.  These are some of the greatest leaders in modern business...we're splitting hairs when comparing them.  So it's ridiculous when people say that Gates missed the boat...Buffett missed Walmart and Apple.  Cheers!
No man is a failure who has friends!


captkerosene

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2018, 02:03:37 PM »
I'd rather have Bezos than Gates as Chairman. (You don't know until you ask.)  Prem is currently out of favor but I think he'd do a good job too.

captkerosene

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2018, 08:28:36 PM »
My absolute first choice would be Bruce Flatt for both CEO and COB. It would cost billions to get him but he'd make it back the first quarter. Think about it, he spends his time managing 80K people and allocating capital. Looks at hundreds of deals every year and has a record that just about equals WEB. Still in his early fifties and looks like he lives on lettuce sandwiches. Eight hour long CC today for BAM's annual investor day. Think about all they've done this year while WEB was snoozing.