Warren Buffett accused of ‘scapegoating’ former heir apparent

David Sokol says he is saddened by investment guru’s ‘disparaging’ comments at Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting

Dominic Rushe
Guardian [UK]
1 May 2011

The former heir apparent to Warren Buffett has accused the investment guru of scapegoating him and says he is “deeply saddened” by Buffett’s decision to publicly “disparage” him over a controversial share deal.

In a statement, lawyers for David Sokol, a former director of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment firm, said Sokol had considered Buffett a “friend and mentor”. Sokol resigned earlier this month after Berkshire disclosed he had invested $10m (£6m) in Lubrizol, a chemical firm that he later advised Buffett to buy. Sokol made $3m profit on the deal.

Speaking this weekend, Buffett called Sokol’s behaviour “inexcusable and incomprehensible”. But in a statement at the time of the resignation Buffett had said: “Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful.” Buffett had also described Sokol’s contribution to the company as “extraordinary” and said the resignation had been a “total surprise.” Sokol had run several Berkshire subsidiaries, including MidAmerican Energy and NetJets, which sells fractional ownerships of private jets.

At his annual meeting, Buffett said he had made a “big mistake” in not quizzing his former potential heir about the controversial share deal…

The article continues at the Guardian.

Read also, ‘Warren Buffet shrugs off ‘brush with scandal,’ at the Guardian.

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