May 3 (UPI) -- Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett on Monday said that Vice Chairman Gregory Abel is slated to succeed him as head of the company.
Buffett confirmed the plans to CNBC after Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger said that Abel "will keep the culture" in response to a question Saturday during Berkshire's annual meeting about whether the holding company would become too complex to manage.
"The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who'd take over tomorrow morning," Buffett said.
He added that Vice Chairman Ajit Jain, 69, would be next in line behind Abel, 59, adding that age was a determining factor for the board.
"They're both wonderful guys. The likelihood of someone having a 20-year runway though makes a real difference," said Buffett.
Jain and Abel were promoted to vice chairmen in 2018 and Buffett offered them the opportunity to take the floor at the shareholder meeting in 2019.
At the time, Munger assured shareholders that they would continue to treat their "money exactly as we would behave with our own money" even following a transfer of leadership.
Berkshire stock rose 1.69% following the news on Monday.
The company reported close to $12 billion profit in the first quarter bouncing back after reporting $49.7 billion in losses last year as stock investments fell as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Saturday's shareholder meeting, Buffet said the company was facing "substantial inflation" amid rising price pressures as the economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's an economy -- really, it's red hot. And we weren't expecting it," he said.