Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway’s deputy chair and longtime Warren Buffett confidant, has passed away at the age of 99. The company announced his death around 8 a.m. Sydney time on Wednesday, stating that Mr. Munger died in a California hospital. He would have turned 100 on New Year’s Day.
In addition to his role as vice chair of Berkshire, Munger was a real estate attorney, chairman, and publisher of the Daily Journal Corp, a member of the Costco board, a philanthropist, and an architect. His wealth was estimated at more than $US2.3 billion, according to US media reports.
“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom, and participation,” Buffett said in a statement on Tuesday.
This news will likely trigger a new round of speculation about Warren Buffett and his successor at Berkshire Hathaway. In a letter to Berkshire Hathaway last week, Buffett stated, “We have the right CEO to succeed me and the right Board of Directors as well. Both are needed.” Berkshire vice chairman Greg Abel, who heads the company’s non-insurance businesses, has been widely identified as Buffett’s likely successor.