Skim through the back of the 2002 annual report, and you'll see a list of the dozens of operating subsidiary companies within Berkshire. To my knowledge, this book covers the managers of these companies in more depth than any other book. It is essential to learn about these managers because among them will be chosen the successors of Mr. Buffett. Personally, reading this book gives me confidence in the future of Berkshire in the post-Buffett/Munger era. I especially liked the chapter on Ajit Jain, who has not been covered by other books. This book is an absolute must read for those planning on holding their Berkshire shares forever.
Good compilation of information about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway from inside the company. Helps make you understand why he has been so successful.
It's about time someone wrote about what really makes Berkshire Hathaway unique. There are so many books on Warren Buffett which attempt to reorganize his annual letters that it is really refreshing to read something new. This book has great content and really delves into the Berkshire compound money machine. It is a required read for investors as well as managers.
Robert Miles knows Warren Buffett, and it's clear that he also knows a thing or two about the people who run the companies in Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Armed with information gleaned from eight months of intensive interviews, Miles uncovers what makes a Berkshire manager tick, and covers the workings of Berkshire, itself, as well. Writing through the voices of the CEOs he portrays, Miles skillfully weaves the colorful histories of 18 firms into a revealing set of success stories. Many tales are similar - the CEOs love their companies; they worked hard to build solid businesses and no one regrets selling his firm to Berkshire. They all sound genuinely happier than you might possibly believe, and each chapter has business models you shouldn't miss. We invite any executive to enter these pages for an insider's view (still, it doesn't hurt to remember, they all knew Warren was gonna read it).
I have always had a strong passion for reading biographies. I think what attracts me to them is the lessons that the reader can take away and apply to their own lives. With this interest in mind, combined with my strong interest in Berkshire Hathaway, I eagerly awaited the publication of The Warren Buffett CEO. I was anxious to see what lessons and insights I could learn and apply to my own path through life.
I found the book to be an extremely enjoyable read. It provides a richness of detail and previously unavailable insight on the mangers that make the subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway such a remarkable group of exceptional performers. It was also refreshing to see Mr. Buffett receive credit for being the outstanding manager he truly is. Almost all of the attention he receives focuses on his investment prowess and disregards completely his abilities as a manager. As this book will show you he is simply a tremendous manager who is able to inspire his mangers to continue working to produce results that will make him, and Berkshire shareholders, proud. He is able to achieve this even when the majority of the managers certainly no longer have a financial need to continue working.
Mr. Miles has grown as a writer and has given us all an excellent tool that provides many insights into what it takes to be a good manager, the dedication and drive it takes to succeed, and what to focus on when trying to create, and grow, an enduring customer centered business.
Robert Miles began the book "The Warren Buffett CEO: Secrets of the Berkshire Hathaway Managers" with the ambitious goal of revealing "management and investment tenets from some of the most highly regarded CEOs around." But instead of analyzing what has driven the success of Buffett's operational CEOs, he provides the reader with a laundry list of 60 trite generalisms. The final one reflects the level of analysis that seems to have gone into the other 59, when he writes, "60. Competitive. Each Buffect CEO is intensely competitive. All want to win -- and win big!" Such generalisms leave the reader with little opportunity to glean true insight into behaviors that drive operational success at Berkshire Hathaway.
Miles writing style reads much like a question and answer interview for a star conducted by the President of a Fan club. He seems so awestruck by the success records of the stars, that he is unable to bring much of interest too light.
I give the book two stars, only because it catalogues information about the CEO's that is not found elsewhere. But beware, Miles writing style makes that information largely unaccessible. The true Buffett fan will be better off reading Janet Lowe's "Damn Right" about Charlie Munger or Cunningham's "The Essays of Warren Buffet."