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Berkshire’s Benjamin Moore Seeks Third Chief in Two Years

Benjamin Moore, the paint maker owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said Chief Executive Officer Robert Merritt left the company.

Benjamin Moore, which hired Merritt last year, is searching for a new leader and expects to name a replacement “in the coming week,” the Montvale, New Jersey-based company said yesterday in a statement on its website.

The paint company last year hired Merritt, a former executive at restaurant companies including Cosi Inc., to replace Denis Abrams. The unit has staff of about 2,200 people, according to the most recent annual report from Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire.

Buffett, 83, agreed in 2000 to buy the paint company for about $1 billion as he expanded housing-related operations. He has identified the business as one of four Berkshire units that counts Tracy Britt as chairman. Another of the units, building products provider Johns Manville, in November named Mary Rhinehart as chief executive officer, replacing Todd Raba.

Britt didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Eileen McComb, a spokeswoman for Benjamin Moore, also didn’t return a call.

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