Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) and the largest shareholder of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), gave his advice to Muhtar Kent, CEO of the beverage maker during its annual shareholders meeting.
During the meeting, Buffett told Kent that Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO) should remain in front of its competitors by evaluating the causes of failures of other companies.
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“I like to study failure. We want to see what has caused businesses to go bad, and the biggest thing that kills them is complacency. You want restlessness, a feeling that somebody’s always after you, but you’re going to stay ahead,” said Buffett.
Buffett told Kent that he is the kind of person who wants certainty, and likes businesses with a great brand. He said, “I’m the kind of guy that likes to bet on sure things. If you take care of a great brand, it’s forever. Those are the kind of businesses I like.”
Buffett added, “That belief that tomorrow is more exciting than today, you just have to have it permeate the organization. The world does not belong to the pessimist. Believe me.”
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) owns 400 million shares of Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO). Buffett serves in the board of the beverage maker for 17 years, and his son Howard started serving as director in 2010. However, most shareholders consider Buffett’s attendance in the annual meeting of Coca Cola a good surprise.
More than 850 shareholders of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and guests happily welcomed the legendary investor. During the meeting, Buffett shared his story on how he first got into the beverage makers’ business. He said at the age of seven, he started his Coke business by buying a six-pack of Coke for $0.25 and sold each bottle to his friends for a nickel.
Buffett said he will not sell a share of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), “We’ve never sold a share of Coca-Cola stock, and I wouldn’t think of selling a share. I like wonderful brands if you take care of them.”
Buffett will host Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska next week.