Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, revealed he is fond of Zoom, saying the videoconferencing software will keep thriving even as life goes back to normal after the pandemic.
“I have fallen in love with Zoom,” Munger said during an interview with Becky Quick on CNBC’s special “Buffett & Munger: A Wealth of Wisdom,” which aired Tuesday. “I think Zoom is here to stay. it just adds so much convenience.”
The 97-year-old investor said he uses Zoom at least three times a day, and he made a deal in Australia via a video call.
Zoom stood out as a big pandemic winner as millions of stay-at-home users globally turned to the app for video calls and other capabilities. Shares surged a whopping 395% in 2020 as revenue exploded amid the surge in demand. Earlier this month, the company reported another blowout quarter with sales growth of 191% in the period ended April 30.
However, Munger’s longtime business partner and Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett is not seeing eye to eye on Zoom, saying he still prefers the old school telephone.
“I’m just not a Zoom guy,” the 90-year-old investor said. “I don’t see any plus to it, particularly. I did it once or twice, and they had a whole screen of people that… I just didn’t figure it was adding to the experience. I’d rather have my, you know, feet on the desk, and I find the telephone a very satisfactory instrument.”
Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., left, and Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., attend a BYD Co. press event in China, on Monday, Sept. 27, 2010.
Nelson Ching | Getty Images
Munger’s bull case for Zoom is based on his belief that business travel is unlikely go back to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, he said office demand will stay low as many workers will likely have the flexibility to work from home.
“I think a lot of business travel will never come back. Just corporation after corporation deciding one meeting a year, two meetings a year in person, and the rest Zoom. And I think that’s here to stay,” Munger said.
“What’s happened to office demand is just… think of the agonies in that field now. A lot of people have found they don’t need to be there,” Munger added. “And I think a lot of people are going to decide that they can work three days a week and stay home the other. I think all kinds of things are gonna happen that… we don’t go back to what we did before.”
During the first-quarter report, Zoom did warn of a coming slowdown as expansion drops from the pandemic-fueled 2020. The company now sees 50% revenue growth for the full fiscal year.
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