Author Topic: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?  (Read 4040 times)

Vish_ram

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2018, 07:18:54 AM »
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.


John Hjorth

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2018, 07:41:37 AM »
... Gates is a great resource, but the CEO should be the COB.

As Dane - English not being my mother tongue - I have to ask: What is "COB" an abbreviation for here? [I understand it here in this particular context as "the decision to make when the time is due for it - not even a second before that."]
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cubsfan

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2018, 07:53:37 AM »
COB - Chairman Of the Board

But I don't know what it is in Danish - ha!


John Hjorth

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2018, 08:31:57 AM »
Mike,

Got it now! [and a quite funny I simply coulden't figure that out, actually!] Thank you!, & back to topic.
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Parsad

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2018, 10:34:14 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!
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rb

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2018, 11:18:41 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.

Parsad

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2018, 11:38:00 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!
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rb

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2018, 11:58:41 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.

longinvestor

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2018, 07:04:46 AM »
I can’t see Buffett or the board handing the reins to a part timer. Gates is. And likely will be increasingly part time with increasing demand for the foundation dollar. Melinda likely will have the last word.

The most likely candidates are Todd or Ted; They have received mentoring for a decade already. There’s no substitute for that. If it’s one of them the board has to figure out how to keep the other in Omaha.

ERICOPOLY

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Re: Buffett's successor - Bill Gates?
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2018, 07:46:54 AM »
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.

They saw the move to "browser based apps" and "software as a service" quite early on -- I had to sit through a lot of presentations.

I was with the Internet Explorer product team (I took my job in 1997) and Microsoft had a hard time designing it's products the way it wanted to without the government getting involved and threatening to split the company in two.

I feel as though the competitors utilized the government to distract Microsoft and their complaints were disingenuous.

Seriously, can you imagine an iPhone or Chromebook today shipping without a web browser already configured and ready to go?  That lawsuit was asinine. 

Microsoft was only behaving in a manner that made sense at the time and still makes sense today.  Just ask Apple and Google as their browsers are both the defaults configured on their systems today and they now have the dominant share (on the smartphones).


« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 07:49:23 AM by ERICOPOLY »