Possible Buffett successor drops CEO role at BNSF

Matthew 'Matt' Rose
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In what appears to be a unsurprising transition, Matt Rose will become executive chairman of BNSF Railway and drop his CEO role.

President and Chief Operating Officer Carl Ice, who has been with the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary for 34 years, will become CEO on Jan. 1, 2014.

Rose's move away from day-to-day duties could increase speculation among Buffett watchers that he is a step closer to becoming Warren Buffett's successor as Berkshire's CEO.

The news release, however, makes it sound like Rose will be at BNSF for years to come.