Berkshire Hathaway has chosen Greg Abel, chief executive of the company's energy business and head of Berkshire's non-insurance operations, to succeed Warren Buffett as CEO when he departs.

The choice answers a question that had loomed over Berkshire and its 90-year-old CEO for decades.

Abel would inherit the largest conglomerate in the world and embark on the impossible task of filling the shoes of the "Oracle of Omaha," one of the richest men and most famous investors on the planet.

“The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning,” Buffett said.