“The nation’s largest pension fund is planning to vote for a proposal that would unseat Warren Buffett as chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The $470 billion California Public Employees’Retirement System, known as Calpers, said in a regulatory filing that it would support a proposal by the National Legal and Policy Center that Berkshire Hathaway’s board chair be independent. That would disqualify Mr. Buffett, who is also the company’s chief executive, from holding both positions. Having the same person hold both roles weakens corporate governance, the National Legal and Policy Center said in the shareholder measure published ahead of Berkshire’s April 30 shareholder meeting.
“Berkshire Hathaway’s board responded by saying it opposes the measure and believes Mr. Buffett should continue to fill both roles. After he departs, a board member who isn’t part of management should become chair, the board said. A representative from Berkshire wasn’t immediately available for comment. The measure likely faces long odds. Mr. Buffett alone has a 32% voting interest in Berkshire. Calpers supports re-electing Mr. Buffett to the Berkshire board. Companies are increasingly deciding not to have their chief executives serve as chair, according to consulting firm Spencer Stuart. As of last year, 59% of companies in the S&P 500 had split the chair and chief executive roles.”
From: The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2022