NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Though not entirely unexpected, the announcement that Steve Jobs would be stepping down from his CEO post at Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report sent shockwaves across the media.
In response to the news, droves of individuals ranging from mainstream news anchors, to bloggers and tweeters took to their respective mediums to voice their opinions and offer thoughts about the illustrious innovator.
Steve Jobs' decision to relinquish his throne at the firm he helped create could once again bring to question the succession plans of another noteworthy businessman:
Warren Buffett. The two men, though both widely followed, have handled their respective exit strategies in markedly different manners.
Although he has largely become the face of Apple, Jobs, who has battled with health issue for years, has been noticeably taking a gradual approach with his succession plans. On more than one occasion, when the Apple founder was forced to step aside, he relied on chief operating officer Tim Cook to take the reigns.
Most recently, Jobs placed Cook in charge at the start of the year when he announced that he was taking a medical leave.
In his resignation letter, Jobs once again turned to Cook, noting, "As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple." Apple's charismatic founder will not be leaving Apple entirely, however. Prior to recommending Cook for CEO, Jobs reassured followers that he, with the blessing of the Board, would like to serve as, "chairman of the board, director, and Apple employee."
Given his health concerns and reliance on Tim Cook in the past, Jobs' succession plans were largely understood even prior to his stepping down this week. The same, however, cannot be said for Buffett.
The question of Buffett's successor has long been one of the biggest mysteries in the business world. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Buffett has been uncharacteristically quiet when it comes to providing insight into his own succession plans.
The Nebraska billionaire, who will turn 81 next week, has offered little in the way of clues in regard to who will take over the Berkshire Hathway reigns in his absence. This, in turn, has led droves of commentators and fans to speculate wildly.
Some of the names that have been tossed around in the past have included recently resigned NetJets CEO David Sokol; Ajit Jain, the head of Berkshire's reinsurance branch; and Tony Nicely, GEICO leader.
Although the public remains largely in the dark on this issue, Buffett has insisted that his successor has been chosen. This month, in an interview with Charlie Rose, the investor once again reminded followers of this fact, explaining that Berkshire's board has agreed upon a single name.
Jobs' decision to step down could once again spark interest in Berkshire Hathaway's succession plans. Speculators likely have longer to wait before this mystery is solved, however.
In the past, Warren Buffett has quipped that he intends to work until he is 100. Given this week's headline-grabbing $5 billion
Bank of America
investment, it is clear that the Oracle of Omaha is not yet ready to give up his post.
Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management did not own any of the equities mentioned.