Every year, Fortune magazine (where I started out as a reporter) comes out with its list of the Most Admired Companies in the world. In truth, it doesn’t really change much from year to year. Apple, once again for the fourth year in a row, is No. 1, as it should be. The company single-handedly created an entirely new class of touch computing with the iPad last year, and is on it’s way to becoming the most valuable company in the world.
Google is No. 2 (although, confusingly, it’s overall score of 8.22 is higher than Apple’s 8.16—it turns out that those are their industry scores not their separate Top 50 scores, a spokesperson explains, even though they are labeled “overall scores”). And Amazon comes in at No. 7. Microsoft hangs on at No. 9. So four of the top 10 companies are from the technology industry. And IBM is No. 12. After that, the list becomes a mixed bag, and even a little questionable. Cisco, Intel, Netflix, eBay, Sony, and Oracle also made the list. Netflix totally deserves to be there and maybe Cisco, but the others just seem to grandfathered in. Where’s Yahoo?
Actually, before you put too much credence into this list, however, Goldman Sachs also made the list at No. 25. Yes, that Goldman Sachs, the one that turned out to be too big to jail for its culpability in the financial crisis and is spending $3.4 billion in legal fees just to defend itself this year alone.
Here are the Top 10 Most Admired companies according to Fortune: