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Berkshire’s Munger: BYD CEO is “combination of Edison and Welch”

Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A) investment in BYD is old news, but the company – and Berkshire Hathaway’s confidence in it – continues to intrigue.

Though I had heard of BYD (listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) in passing last fall when Berkshire Hathaway Inc.  [[BRK-A]] bought 10% of the Chinese battery and car company for approximately $230 million, I ran across this comment Berkshire co-Chairman Charlie Munger made about BYD’s CEO to Fortune:

“[BYD CEO Wang Chuan-Fu] is a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch – something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to do. I have never seen anything like it.”

That is a serious compliment coming from Warren Buffett’s right-hand man. The same Fortune articles notes Wang’s frugality- “the last time BYD executives traveled to the Detroit auto show they rented a suburban house to save the cost of hotel rooms.”

The full article from April is still available on CNNMoney, and it is certainly worth reading. BYD could offer a serious opportunity – even though the company’s shares are up some 500% since Berkshire Hathaway’s investment – but at the very least the article gives insight into the psyche of a true entrepreneur and innovator.

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