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Berkshire shareholders are voting to keep Buffett in the chair, rejecting climate revelations from Reuters

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© Reuters. Investors and guests arrive at the first personal annual meeting since 2019 at Berkshire Hathaway Inc in Omaha, Nebraska, USA on April 29, 2022. REUTERS / Scott Morgan

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By Carolina Mandl and Jonathan Stempel

OMAHA, Neb. (Reuters) – Shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE 🙂 Inc. on Saturday rejected proposals to have an independent chairman replace Warren Buffett and demand that his company provide more information about its climate-related risks and efforts to improve diversity.

Shareholders supported letting Buffett retain both chairman and CEO roles by a nearly 6-to-1 margin, Berkshire said at its annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

Buffett, 91, has run Berkshire since 1965.

The National Legal and Policy Center, a Berkshire shareholder, had said it was bad corporate governance for the legendary investor to keep both roles.

Its proposal received more attention when Calpers, which invested $ 460 billion on April 28 and is the largest U.S. public pension fund, expressed support, as it has done with other companies.

Berkshire’s board, however, said Buffett should retain both roles. Buffett’s eldest son Howard Buffett, a Berkshire director, is expected to become non-executive chairman when his father is no longer in charge.

With approx. 3-to-1 margins, shareholders also rejected proposals to get the company to reveal more about the climate-related risks, greenhouse gas emissions and diversity efforts in its dozens of companies.

Berkshire’s board also opposed these proposals, saying that its operating companies already adequately identified or managed environmental risks and were committed to diversity, fairness and inclusion.

The proposals had high chances of being adopted, given Buffett’s control of 32% of Berkshire’s voting power. He owns approximately 16% of Berkshire’s shares.

Berkshire’s list of 15 people to serve as directors won shareholders’ approval by an overwhelming margin.

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