Fortune’s 2010 World’s Most Admired Companies List: Apple Inc. #1 for third consecutive year

Hay Group, a global management consultancy, and Fortune magazine today released their thirteenth annual World’s Most Admired Companies (WMAC) list. Hay Group also conducted supplemental research on employee engagement practices at these organizations, which found that companies at the top of the list generated stronger employee loyalty to the organization over the last two years and reported greater decreases in employee frustrations over work conditions that were not conducive to their success.

“The World’s Most Admired Companies have been particularly good at focusing on long-term strategies, showing little tolerance for executives that compromise long-term objectives for short-term gains,” said Mel Stark, vice president in Hay Group’s Reward Practice, in the press release. “Equally important, the WMAC communicate their objectives to all employees, connecting the goals and objectives of every employee to the overall business strategy, and as a result, were able to come out of the downturn with motivated and loyal employees.”

Hay Group’s study found that 90 percent of respondents from the WMAC identified their company as very effective or effective at fostering high levels of employee engagement, compared to 71 percent of their peers. The majority of respondents from the WMAC (94 percent) believe employee engagement efforts reduced employee turnover, and 85 percent believe employee engagement efforts reduced employee performance problems, compared to 67 percent and 72 percent at peer companies respectively. In addition, only 19 percent of the WMAC experienced compensation freezes to a great extent in the past two years, compared to 36 percent of peer companies, and only 10 percent of the WMAC experienced layoffs to a great extent, compared to 23 percent at peer companies.

The study also analyzed the connection between employee engagement and a company’s business development and consumer relationship. Ninety-four percent of respondents from the WMAC believe employee engagement has created a competitive advantage in the market place, compared to 82 percent at peer companies. Additionally, 71 percent of respondents from WMAC believe their company has been successful at linking employee engagement to customer satisfaction, compared to 58 percent at peer companies.

“Employee engagement is increasingly being recognized as a major driver of business performance, revealing important information about an organization’s health and future prospects,” says Mark Royal, a senior consultant with Hay Group’s Insight Practice, in the press release. “Companies on the World’s Most Admired list are not only better at engaging employees in a way that reduces internal frustration and fosters loyalty, they are also better at sharing those metrics with influential groups outside the organization, and translating their success into new business and an enhanced customer experience.”

Which companies have the best reputations? Well, for starters, Apple tops the list for the third year in a row.

Here’s the Top Ten of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies:
1. Apple
2. Google
3. Berkshire Hathaway
4. Johnson & Johnson
6. Procter & Gamble
7. Toyota Motor
8. Goldman Sachs
9. Wal-Mart
10. Coca-Cola

“With 250 million iPods, 43 million iPhones, and 32 million iPod touches sold to date, plus the promise of a game-changing iPad, Apple won this year’s vote by the highest margin ever for a No. 1. Two more years as champ and Apple will match GE for most appearances in the top spot,” Christopher Tkaczyk reports for Fortune.

“What makes Apple so admired? Product, product, product. This is the company that changed the way we do everything from buy music to design products to engage with the world around us,” Tkaczyk reports. “Its track record for innovation and fierce consumer loyalty translates into tremendous respect across business’ highest ranks.”

Tkaczyk reports, “As BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer puts it, ‘The whole world held its breath before the iPad was announced. That’s brand management at its very best.'”

Full article, with the rest of the Top 50, including #11 Microsoft and #31 Intel, here.

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


  1. interesting… how long ago was this survey? It seems to me that it was awhile ago, based on how high Toyota is ranked. I would assume since they had all their troubles, it would be lower on the list…?

  2. @hagar67,
    Well, re Walmart, anyone who uses their brain instead of their a** to do their thinking, for starters. Walmart has been the most successful anti-poverty program in the history of the world. AND they make a profit for shareholders! What’s not to like??
    (Oh, don’t bother answering if you’re a union shill.)

  3. “Wanna bet if Toyota will be on next year’s list?”

    Sure, I’ll take that bet. Let’s see, if I check the facts (forget the TV reports) Toyota has 1 car per million that has a possible (but unproven) “problem”. Seriously, think this thru dude.

    True, that General Motors owners (Obamaites) and the news media want the sheep to believe that Toyota is going down for the count. however Toyota owner loyalty is unmatched in the auto world, Only Apple (not auto producer) can claim such happy customers. Nothing suggests that Toyota will have to ask for a bailout anytime soon ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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