A closer look at GEICO, Repurchases, and Greg Abel's BHE sale
It seems to me that Combs is a bit of "Jack of all trades" . At one point he was also the main BRK man in the "Health care project JV with Amazon and JPM". He is either a superman or ...tries desperately to find a role for himself at Berkshire. Perhaps Warren got it slightly wrong on this one.
Todd Combs has been the interim CEO of GEICO for the past 2 years now. Is this position permanent? Did GEICO ever formally look for an auto insurance expert as part of a CEO search? If so, why has no executive been hired? Todd has a lot on his plate between GEICO and managing a $20B equity portfolio.
Apparently GEICO has closed its insurance office in California. They are still writing policies in the state, but through direct channels (meaning that customers can continue to use the GEICO website and mobile app to get quotes and purchase policies). The action resulted in significant layoffs.
Sacramento Bee Article:
As I mentioned in the article, GEICO's expense ratio is very low and while that has muted the negative impact of recent difficulties, reducing advertising and employee costs could have longer-run implications. So it is a concern. I rarely wish for quarterly conference calls when it comes to Berkshire, but it would be nice to have some answers on this situation before next year's annual meeting.