Warren Buffet Promises He ‘Won’t Go Astray’ in 2023 Shareholder Meeting

The CEO billionaire says he'll answer more questions than usual at the upcoming Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.

Warren Buffett, elderly white man, poses in glasses and suit
CEO Warren Buffett at the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. AFP via Getty Images

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), is making some changes to the holding company’s upcoming shareholders meeting.

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The well-attended annual meeting, set to take place on May 6 this year, typically draws tens of thousands of shareholders to Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman Charlie Munger are known for spending hours answering questions about investment and doling out life advice. The event has helped Buffett, 92, earn the title “Oracle of Omaha.”

Despite the already lengthy duration of the event’s Q&A, Buffett said he plans to answer far more questions this year than in 2022.

“Last year, I made a mistake by spending too much time on a few subjects,” said Buffett in the 2023 meeting visitors guide. “Consequently we answered far too few questions. I won’t go astray this year.”

Answering an estimated 60 questions, Buffett and Munger will be joined in the event’s morning session by Berkshire Hathaway executives Ajit Jain and Greg Abel, the latter of whom has beenĀ designated as Buffett’s successor. Berkshire Hathaway shareholders attending the meeting in person will be randomly selected to ask questions, while Becky Quick of CNBC is set to pose questions from non-attending shareholders.

“The four of us will not get so much as a clue about the questions to be asked,” said Buffett. “We know you and Becky will pick some tough ones and that’s the way we like it.”

Why are the Berkshire Hathaway meetings so popular?

Attendees must abide by “microphone manners” when asking questions, which entails stating their name and hometown, only posing one question and refraining from asking about politics or what Berkshire Hathaway is buying and selling, the only subjects off-limits.

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting has become known as “Woodstock for Capitalists” for its non-traditional schedule. The 2023 meeting will be followed by a picnic offering a “$5 Berkshire BBQ Meal Deal,” with participants encouraged to take part in a 5k fun run and walk the next day.

Attendees at the event are also offered shareholder discounts while shopping from Berkshire Hathaway businesses, which include Fruit of the Loom and GEICO. At last year’s meeting, the company sold 11 tons of peanut brittle and chocolate from See’s Candy, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, according to Buffett’s 2022 shareholder letter.

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meetings first began in 1973, with video recordings of Buffett and Munger’s hour-long question portions stemming back to 1994. The 2022 shareholder event, the first in-person meeting since 2019, focused on Berkshire Hathaway’s $40 billion buying spree and Buffet and Munger’s dislike of Bitcoin as a long-term investment.

Buffett first acquired Berkshire Hathaway, a former textile manufacturing firm, in 1965, later establishing it as a holding company. With an estimated net worth of $110 billion, he is the world’s fifth richest person, according to Bloomberg.

A prominent philanthropist, Buffett has pledged Berkshire Hathaway stock to charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on fighting global poverty, and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which offers college scholarships to Nebraska students.

In 2010, he launched the Giving Pledge alongside Bill Gates, which asks billionaires to commit to donating at least 50 percent of their wealth. Buffett himself has signed the pledge, promising to gradually give 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropy.

Warren Buffet Promises He ‘Won’t Go Astray’ in 2023 Shareholder Meeting