David L. Sokol

Beyond Buffett's successor: What's Berkshire's way forward?

April 6, 2011: 9:48 AM ET

It is not just Warren Buffett's successor who will need to navigate the company forward capably. Berkshire Hathaway needs the right kind of board of directors.

By Eleanor Bloxham, contributor

FORTUNE -- In the wake of David Sokol's resignation from Berkshire Hathaway and the revelation of his stock purchases ahead of Berkshire's planned acquisition of Lubrizol (LZ), it has become clear that investors need to consider more than just who will succeed

David Sokol (left) and Warren Buffett (right)

Warren Buffett as chair and CEO. They will also need to seriously consider succession and governance practices on Berkshire Hathaway's board.

The issues with Berkshire's (BRKA) governance should not be news to investors in Berkshire stock. Any new or prospective investor reading the company's March 11 proxy filing should have received the message about Berkshire's governance loud and clear.

As the SEC's investigation of the Sokol matter moves forward, it will be interesting to see whether issues beyond its recent accounting inquiries at Berkshire have caused the regulator any alarm.

What were some of the signposts of an accident waiting to happen at Berkshire? More

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