Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s annual meeting, which normally draws thousands to Omaha, Nebraska, will be a slimmed-down affair this year.

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of the conglomerate, and Greg Abel, vice chairman of non-insurance operations, will be the only directors physically present at the meeting, Berkshire said in a statement Monday. That means Charlie Munger, Buffett’s longtime business partner, and Ajit Jain, who’s vice chairman of insurance operations and considered one of Buffett’s potential successors, alongside Abel, won’t attend.

As the coronavirus pandemic began to spur public-gathering restrictions and business shutdowns across the U.S., Buffett said in mid-March that Berkshire would only hold the meeting via a virtual setup this year, an action the billionaire investor said he “very much” regretted. “We will greatly miss seeing our shareholders in Omaha this year,” Berkshire said Monday.

Buffett and Abel will field shareholder questions for the meeting on Saturday, May 2, starting at 4:45 p.m. New York time with a webcast on Yahoo. The pair won’t discuss specific investment holdings or politics, Berkshire said. The company plans to announce first-quarter earnings earlier that day, posting results on its website at about 8 a.m.

The changes mark a significant shift from the event that Buffett’s called a “Woodstock for Capitalists.” Berkshire’s annual meeting normally packs a convention center in Omaha full of shareholders, ready to listen to Buffett and Munger opine on a wide array of topics for hours on end.

This year, Abel and Jain, deputies often seen as leading candidates to replace the 89-year-old Buffett once he steps down, were meant to be given more exposure at the meeting, Buffett assured investors in his annual letter, released in February. Now only Abel will be there to answer questions.

No Politics
Buffett’s vow to not discuss politics is a slight shift from prior years. In 2016, he addressed, albeit carefully, a shareholder question about the potential for a Donald Trump presidency and how that could affect Berkshire. He’s taken a cautious approach to some heated political debates at his meeting in recent years, and said in February that he’d wait and see who gets the Democratic nomination this year.

Berkshire says it plans to virtually maintain another aspect of its annual meeting: the shopping. Normally, Berkshire businesses such as Dairy Queen and auto insurer Geico set up booths in the convention center to offer products -- with some trinkets even featuring the faces of Buffett and Munger. This year, the conglomerate said it would provide a link, starting May 1, to websites for Berkshire subsidiaries with product sale dates.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.