Citing the coronavirus, Warren Buffett said Friday he is canceling Berkshire Hathaway's in-person annual meeting, an event that typically draws more than 50,000 people to the celebrated investor's home town of Omaha, Nebraska. It is the latest major because of concerns with the coronavirus.
"It is now clear that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community," Buffett wrote in a letter to Berkshire shareholders. "We won't ask this of our employees, and we won't expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a 'hot spot' in the current pandemic."
Berkshire Hathaway is one of the world's largest conglomerates and owns dozens of companies, including insurance company Geico and ice cream chain Dairy Queen. The company's annual meeting is often called the "Woodstock for capitalists."
Buffett, CEO of Berkshire and one of the world's most prominent investors, said that his company will still hold its meeting, but that shareholders and others will not be able to attend. The event, which typically is held in a packed downtown stadium in Omaha, will take place on May 2.
Only Buffett, his top lieutenant Charlie Munger and a few other Berkshire employees will attend, although the meeting be livestreamed at Yahoo Finance. He also said all other weekend events planned around the meeting had been canceled.