Warren Buffett opens Berkshire Hathaway succession lock box in Omaha

Warren Buffett may have tapped into his succession plan at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting on Saturday.

The 88-year-old chairman and CEO asked shareholders to direct questions to his two top lieutenants: Greg Abel, the vice chair of non-insurance operations, and Ajit Jain, the vice chair of insurance operations.

Abel, however, demurred that the thousands in attendance at the shareholder meeting would want to hear from him when speaking with FOX Business' Liz Claman.

"No, no, no, we all want to hear from Warren, I know that," Abel said. "He's such a great man."

It's one of the most closely held secrets in American corporate history: Who will succeed Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett if -- and when -- he no longer runs the conglomerate that's he's built over the past 54 years?

For decades, shareholders and reporters have pressed the Oracle of Omaha to reveal the name or names of those waiting in the wings to take over the $540 billion market cap conglomerate. Today, Buffett was clear, telling a gaggle of reporters, "I won't be retiring."

But Jain and Abel are both proven executives who have remained mostly behind the scenes publicly.

"There isn't anyone like him," Buffett said of Jain, adding that he "could not have two better operating managers" than Abel and Jain.