Warren Buffett Fires CEO For Taking Vacation With Company Money
The CEO of a paint company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett decided to take his top executives on a getaway when the company posted its first quarterly profit in years. Buffett was having no part of it.
The owner of Berkshire Hathaway fired the CEO of Montvale, N.J., based Benjamin Moore paint company after the extravagant vacation, the New York Post reported. The CEO, Denis Abrams, had taken himself and the company’s other executives on a trip to Bermuda using company funds, The Post reported. The trip included dinner on a yacht supposedly owned by singer Jimmy Buffett.
The company, which had been hit hard by the recession and collapse of the real estate industry, had just posted its first quarterly profit since 2007. The company had endured layoffs and frozen salaries, also reducing commissions for sales staff during the rough period, The Post reported.
Buffett fired Abrams in dramatic style, The Post reported, bringing a cadre of executives to serve him the pink slip.
“[Abrams] kept asking what he’d done wrong,” an insider briefed on the firing told The Post. “[Berkshire officials] told him to clear his stuff out while they stood and watched every move he made.”
Berkshire Hathaway acquired Benjamin Moore in late 2000 for close to $1 billion, the U.K’s Daily Mail reported. The company has not played an important role in the company since the acquisition, the Daily Mail mentioned, and Abrams did not even warrant a mention in Buffett’s annual letter to stockholders about the work CEOs have done.