Link to interview: Warren Buffett: We took a stand on Coke's pay package
FORTUNE -- Last week, Warren Buffett declined to vote against a controversial stock option plan for Coca-Cola's (KO) top executives that he thought was excessive. That has unleashed a wave of criticism against the legendary investor and CEO of insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), typically a media darling. New York Times columnist Joe Nocera called Buffett a coward. Shortly after the Coke vote, Buffett sat down with Fortune to defend himself.
Despite the criticism, Buffett says he believes he took a forceful stand against the Coke pay package. What's more, he says that he has little power to stop companies from handing out excessive pay. That's a big change from a few years ago, when Buffett wrote that large shareholders like himself were the only ones who could turn back runaway executive compensation within corporate America. Apparently, Buffett and others like him are outmatched as well.