Gregory Abel as Berkshire CEO? (BRK.A, BRK.B)

According to Bloomberg, Gregory Abel may now be a top contender to replace Warren Buffett, now that David Sokol is out of the running.

“I perceive him as stepping into that top-four circle of potential successors,” David Kass, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, said yesterday in an interview. “He is very much a contender.”

Abel, 48, joined Berkshire in 2000 and helped Sokol expand the company’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings. In 2008, Sokol stepped back from daily operations and Abel took over as CEO of the unit.

“That’s a notch up the ladder in the hierarchy,” said Andrew Kilpatrick, who wrote “Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett.” Abel is “sort of new on the scene of being in this very, very top mix, but he’s definitely there. He’s been below the radar because Sokol was so ahead of him.”

Buffett introduced Abel to Berkshire shareholders in the billionaire’s 2002 annual letter, calling the manager Sokol’s “key associate.” In subsequent letters, Abel’s name always followed Sokol’s as Buffett praised “Dave and Greg” for their work expanding the energy business.

Read the full article here.

Talk to Frank about Gregory Abel