Berkshire Hathaway said Thursday it will hold its annual shareholder meeting virtually in May.
“Unfortunately, we do not currently believe it will be safe at that time to hold a meeting with nearly 40,000 attendees as we last did in 2019,” the company said in a statement.
The announcement comes even as coronavirus vaccinations could begin in the U.S. as soon as this month for front line workers and at-risk patients. However, it’s still unclear how quickly distribution to the general public in 2021 will be, so Berkshire is not taking any chances.
On Wednesday, the U.S. hit 100,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations — the most since the pandemic began, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic.
Berkshire Hathaway said that May’s meeting will be similar to its 2020 annual shareholder meeting, which was also held virtually.
Typically every May, tens of thousands of people descend on Omaha to hear CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger opine on the state of Berkshire’s businesses and investing.
“We hope that the 2021 meeting will be the last time that shareholders are unable to attend in person. We look forward to 2022 when we expect to again host shareholders in Omaha at our usual large gala aka ‘Woodstock for Capitalists,'” the company said.