Fortune’s Top 20 Most Admired U.S. Companies 2008: Apple #1

Fortune’s America’s Top 20 Most Admired Companies 2008 features Apple Inc. atop the list, beating out the likes of Berkshire Hathaway (2), General Electric (3), Google (4), BMW (14), and Microsoft (16).

“To create the top 20, Fortune and its survey partners at Hay Group asked the experts — in this case, more than 3,700 people from dozens of industries — to select the 10 companies they admire most. This year’s winners all have strong records of innovation, leadership, and financial strength — and their employees know it,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“It is a tribute to its CEO that Apple, which ten years ago seemed headed for the slag heap, is No. 1 on this list,” Elmer-DeWitt writes. “Steve Jobs has always had a knack for weaving magic out of silicon and software. But who knew he could build a $24 billion (in sales) company on the strength of a portable jukebox and a computer with a single-digit market share?”

Elmer-DeWitt, “His pitch, as he leveraged the success of the iPod, was very simple: Apple products work, and if you buy more than one, they work better. The company (if not its stock) is on a tear, but even with the economy weakening, it will be interesting to see how economically sensitive this growth engine is.”

How Apple ranked in 8 key attrbutes of reputation (scale of 1-5, 1=best, 5=worst):
Innovation – 1
People management – 1
Use of corporate assets – 3
Social responsibility – 5
Quality of management – 3
Financial soundness – 3
Long-term investment – 3
Quality of products/services – 1

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Greg M.” for the heads up.]

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