Charlie Munger, the longtime vice chairman and second-in-command to Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, died on Tuesday morning at a California hospital.
Munger was 99, and would have turned 100 on Jan. 1. He died peacefully, Berkshire said. No cause was given.
“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Munger had been a Berkshire vice chairman since 1978, working closely with Buffett on allocating the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate’s capital, and being quick to tell him when he was making a mistake.
“It’s a shock,” said Thomas Russo, partner at Gardner Russo & Quinn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a longtime Berkshire shareholder. “It will leave a big void for investors who have modeled their thoughts, words and activities around Munger and his insights.”
The death of Munger is unlikely to have a major impact on Berkshire’s operations.
Two other vice chairmen, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain, have day-to-day oversight of Berkshire’s dozens of operating businesses. Abel is expected to become chief executive once Buffett is no longer in charge.
“I wouldn’t think Berkshire will look much different, apart from Buffett no longer being able to share ideas with Munger,” said Russo. “Berkshire may be a little less fun without him.”
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