Mr. Buffett Joins a Board

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4 Responses

  1. Kay Graham was fortunate to have Warren Buffett decide to invest in The Washington Post, as was Warren to have Kay as CEO. Warren undoubtedly had strong powers of persuasion, but many CEOs would have brushed aside his advice or have felt threatened by someone so obviously brilliant. It is to Kay’s tremendous credit that she embraced Warren Buffett’s presence and took his advice. The Washington Post continues to serve as a vivid example of how the right capital allocation choice can create tremendous value for shareholders as well as employees over time.

  2. Guy Spier says:

    It’s good to be reminded by Don that , much of the time, Kay Graham had huge uncertainty. The key lesson there is that we need to learn the little voice that tells us that we can’t, or that we are not capable, and to continue on.

  3. Lawrence Cunningham says:

    Also an excellent pair of lessons about the potential value inherent in a productive shareholder-manager relationship.

    Readers wishing further illumination about that relationship between Buffett and Kay Graham, as well as between Buffett and Don Graham (also an outstanding manager), see chapter 5 of William N. Thorndike, Jr., The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success (2012).

    Also note to Don: I look forward to reading your story on my one-time senior partner at Cravath, George Gillespie, an exquisite business-savvy lawyer!

  4. Arthur Clarke says:

    I envy Don and his long, intimate relationship with Warren. Warren has taught us many things, which have improved us. He taught me that it is not the math that is important: we learn early, and easily, that 2+2=4. The hard part is putting 2 and 2 together in the real world. So, while the investing public gets lost in abstact conventionality, we spend our time looking for rare instances of 4.