Tuesday, April 26, 2011
As this story illuminates, no company or person is safe from eroding reputation and credibility. Warren Buffet has for decades been the honest and insightful investor who has magic when it comes to buying companies and operating them. Now, since the Lubrizol affair when his manager took a position in the company's stock before recommending that Buffet buy it, people are questioning whether Buffet is in touch with business affairs. There is little Buffet can do to turn around public opinion except to produce better than average performance from his empire. But, his age is against him now. There are questions about succession -- who will take the company over when Buffet steps down. There are questions about the ability of the company to continue growing because it is so large. Issues that remained on the shelf for decades are being examined because Buffet has a chink in his armor of reputation and credibility. If it can happen to Buffet, it can and will happen to any company and CEO. The price of a good reputation is eternal vigilance.