In the 61 years that Fidelity has been in business, only two Johnsons have been in control: current Chairman Edward “Ned” Johnson III and his father, who founded the firm. The younger Johnson’s reign doesn’t appear to be poised to end anytime soon, even though the leader is now 77, the Associated Press reports.
“He hasn’t missed a beat, and a lot of people have crumbled while he’s still going 100 miles per hour,” said Eric Kobren, editor of Fidelity Investor. Johnson, he says, “isn’t going anywhere soon.”
Johnson friend Patrick McGovern, chairman of IDG Group, confirmed that.
“Nothing has told me that he’s anxious to pass the baton very quickly, unless something were to develop with his health, or some family issue,” McGovern said.
While speculation that Johnson’s daughter, Abigail Johnson, will take over is ebbing, now some observers believe he will leave behind a succession plan that splits authority between at least two executives and moves the firm from being run more like a publicly held firm, inclusive of more short-term financial goals.
“I don’t think you have to read too far between the lines to understand that Fidelity is going to be run on a much tighter mandate, to be more accountable for how all its businesses operate, and to run a tighter ship,” said Jim Lowell, publisher of Fidelity Investor.