Fortune’s World’s 50 Most Admired Companies 2009: Apple Inc. #1

Fortune’s list of “The World’s 50 Most Admired Companies” for 2009 is out and Apple Inc. tops the list:

The Top 10:

1. Apple:It’s been a rocky year for Apple: CEO Steve Jobs’ health made headlines, and critics said Cupertino wasn’t being open enough about it. But customers remained loyal to the brand that made white ear buds cool. As much of the computer industry struggled, Apple shipped 22.7 million iPods during its first quarter (up 3 percent from last year), 2.5 million Macs (up 9 percent), and 4.4 million iPhones. No wonder Apple tops our Most Admired list for the second year in a row. – Alyssa Abkowitz

2. Berkshire Hathaway
3. Toyota Motor
4. Google
5. Johnson & Johnson
6. Procter & Gamble
7 (tie). FedEx
7 (tie). Southwest Airlines
9. General Electric

10. Microsoft: The attempted merger with Yahoo fell apart, Windows sales are down, and Microsoft is slashing 5,000 jobs. But the software giant, which has almost $20 billion in cash, is still a force. It recently beat out Google to become the default search provider on Verizon’s wireless network and partnered with LG to put Windows Mobile on its cell phones. Microsoft also hired a former Wal-Mart exec to help the company open retail stores across the country. And now that Yahoo’s got new CEO Carol Bartz at its helm, those merger talks might get going again. – Alyssa Abkowit

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft, which fell 7 places from #3 last year, is on the list for having $20 billion in cash (or 2/3rds of Apple’s war chest), a bunch of failures and handful of “partnership” announcements that amount to no tangible sales. Okey dokey. Well, old habits die hard. Sooner or later Microsoft will fall off the list completely as those surveyed finally wake up and realize that there’s nothing to admire about a convicted monopoly abuser that depends upon copying other companies’ innovations poorly and then marketing them to the ignorant.

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