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

MacBook Closeout starts at $868.99“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,” Fortune reports.

Apple Inc.
Top 20 rank: 1
Rank in Computers: 1

“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,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “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 reports, “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.”

Other companiess from the Top 20 include:
2. Berkshire Hathaway
3. General Electric
4. Google
5. Toyota
6. Starbucks
7. FedEx
8. Procter & Gamble
9. Johnson & Johnson
10. Goldman Sachs

14. BMW

16. Microsoft

20. Cisco

Also, for the third straight year, Apple is the most admired company for innovation:
1. Apple
2. Nike
3. Medco Health Solutions
4. Procter & Gamble
5. Herman Miller
6. Walt Disney
7. Fortune Brands
8. Burlington Northern Santa Fe
9. McDonald’s
10. ProLogis

Full article, with the rest of the top 20, how each of the companies rate in 8 key areas (Apple gets #1 industry rank in Innovation, People management, and Quality of products/services), and more, here.

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


  1. SWEET SWEET… justification.

    This is just the beginning….

    I sense an ire silence from the PC/MSFT camp.

    Well all I can say is TOUGH #%^% .(&) !@#% THEM!!!!

    Since 1987 and before I have had to put up with such ignorant arrogant spew from IT corporate schmucks that don’t know ^&*()*_) from SHINOLA!!!

    Its laughable now but their mindset will never change. As I type on this PC O !@#$ Dell in my fishbowl of an office. They WILL NEVER GET IT! My trusty Macs wait for me @ home with open arms and I cherish every moment video chatting with my daughters on their Macbook.

    I have one last thing to add. Ballmer, if there was a ranking for top IDIOTIC CEO’s you would rank #1….. You truly are a DOPE!
    Just like the sheep that follow your half baked third rate OS. You and your company are a TOTAL JOKE to the tech industry.

    If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
    Woodrow Wilson – 1856-1924

    iJah420 says the best has yet to come from APPL & Co.

  2. I’m with ya iJah420 ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    All the way.

    Why not take your MacBook into work and show it and this article to the CEO.

    Might get some changes made there too ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. McDonald’s is the 9th most innovative company? Eh, what do they innovate, apart from devising different burgers to make us fatter.

    In know they’re good at empire expansion, but I thought innovativeness relates to the product that they produce.

  4. @iJah420

    Amen, brother!

    In public education, at least the district where I work, they don’t get it either. I am currently fighting (what appears to be) a losing battle to keep Macs in our district (one of the biggest in Arizona) and THEY JUST DON’T GET IT (and they never will until they die off).

    You would think that, in a time of financial crisis, they would look long and hard at all their expenses and try to get the most for their dollar. It ain’t happening here. It’s the same ‘ol song and dance that has plagued public education for years. They are so entrenched in the idea that they know best and if anyone has something different to present, it can’t be better ’cause it ain’t MS and they didn’t come up with it.

  5. @iJah420
    From the other side of the world, I salute you.
    Keep the fires burning and Ballmer will flame out up his own exhaust pipe.
    And btw for anyone else, if you want to see how coherent the internal thinking is at Microsoft, about Windoze 7, check out the views expressed by Bill Gates and others at

    I guess these people ought to know what Win7 will be.
    Or not, it seems.

  6. Umm – it seems like a little more research is required on Fortune’s part:

    Add Cisco’s smart acquisitions record and its $23 billion cash stash (the biggest in the tech world), and it’s no surprise that Chambers & Co. is admired.

    News to me.


  7. The article uses old data from 2007.

    Apple is not a $24B (in sales) company. It’s now a $32B GAAP (or $38B non-GAAP) company.

    And Apple’s, not Cisco’s, cash hoard is now the largest for a tech company at almost $25B.

  8. It seems with all the disgruntled comments about how the decision-makers in our corporations cannot make the right financial or technology decision, that someone would get the idea to pursue what it takes to get into these positions, so that change can actually happen.

    What’s missing here? I suspect many of these “IT Corp Schmucks” have been in your shoes, and once they do get into a decision-maker role and learn ALL the facts, the decision is made on sound analysis. “Schmucks” make these corporations the success they are, yet they decide on inferior hardware to run their business?

    I’m sorry, but if you can’t get into a position to make a positive change, then “spewing” ridiculous remarks is all you got…..

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