Fortune Survey Ranks Apple #1 Most Admired Company

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Apple Inc. has been ranked as the #1 World's Most Admired Company in a survey conducted by Fortune magazine. Conducted amongst business executives y the Hay Group, Apple outranked Berkshire Hathaway (#2), Toyota (#3), Google (#4) and even Microsoft (#10) as the company most admired in any industry.

The survey has two components, one in which executives rank companies in their own industry. In this part of the survey, Apple was ranked as the #2 most-admired computing company, behind Xerox, and ahead of HP, Canon, Sun Microsystems, and Dell (in order).

In the second part of the survey, Hay Group, "asked 4,047 executives, directors, and securities analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to select the ten companies they admired most."

Those executives then from a list made up of the companies comprised of the top 25% in last year's surveys and those that finished in the top 20% of their respective industries. In this part of the survey, executives could vote for any company in any industry.

It was in this survey that Apple was selected as the single-most admired company. It may be telling that Apple's competitors don't admire Apple as much as the broader business community, but that could well be part and parcel of how Apple has been able to become so successful in recent years -- the company does things differently than its computing peers, and some of those peers don't appreciate it.

In Fortune's one-paragraph write-up of Apple, the magazine wrote:

"Why it's admired: 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."

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“. . .  and even Microsoft”  Why the surprise.  The surprise should be that Microsoft even made it to 10th on the list.  A convicted monopolist who only succeeds in the market when selling a monopolized product.  What’s to admire about that?


Also it’s a stupid list if the No.1 ranked overall comes in only 2nd within its own industry.  Logical inconsistency somewhere.  What up with that?

Bryan Chaffin

Hey tundraboy,

The Microsoft reference was intended with at least some irony.  The discrepancy with Apple #1 overall but #2 in computers was explained in the story.

To rephrase here: Within any given industry, peer executives ranked their peer companies.  A separate survey was also conducted in which executives could rank their 10 most admired companies in any industry whatsoever.

That’s why I devoted a paragraph at looking at this discrepancy—Some of Apple’s competitors clearly don’t like the way Apple does things, I personally imagine this is because the company is a threat.  Rather than recognizing the threat and trying to co-opt as much as they can, at least some of these execs hunker down and make cheaper toasters (so to speak).

When you get outside of the myopic computer industry, though, execs apparently look at Apple and wish they were doing what Apple is doing.

It’s quite fascinating, to me, what this survey reveals.

I hope that helps!



Knew I should have listened to my Mom:  Read thoroughly before commenting (mouthing off). He he.

Bryan Chaffin

No worries here, mate. I appreciated the chance to clarify that point without making the article itself so wordy as to be unreadable. smile


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