Not much is said about the folks who work at Berkshire Hathaway’s corporate offices.
But Warren Buffett is changing that.
At the closing of his annual letter to shareholders, he includes this message and photo:
For good reason, I regularly extol the accomplishments of our operating managers. They are truly All- Stars, who run their businesses as if they were the only asset owned by their families. I believe the mindset of our managers to be as shareholder-oriented as can be found in the universe of large publicly-owned companies. Most have no financial need to work; the joy of hitting business “home runs” means as much to them as their paycheck.
Equally important, however, are the 24 men and women who work with me at our corporate office. This group efficiently deals with a multitude of SEC and other regulatory requirements, files a 23,000-page Federal income tax return as well as state and foreign returns, responds to countless shareholder and media inquiries, gets out the annual report, prepares for the country’s largest annual meeting, coordinates the Board’s activities — and the list goes on and on.
They handle all of these business tasks cheerfully and with unbelievable efficiency, making my life easy and pleasant. Their efforts go beyond activities strictly related to Berkshire: Last year they dealt with the 40 universities (selected from 200 applicants) who sent students to Omaha for a Q&A day with me. They also handle all kinds of requests that I receive, arrange my travel, and even get me hamburgers and French fries (smothered in ketchup, of course) for lunch. No CEO has it better; I truly do feel like tap dancing to work every day.
In closing, I think it’s become appropriate to ignore our “no pictures” policy and let you view our remarkable home-office crew. Below is a photo from our Christmas lunch. Two people couldn’t make it; otherwise you are looking at all of those who staff Berkshire’s headquarters. They are truly miracle-workers.
They sound like a good crew.