Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Companies list can sometimes seem like an exercise in the obvious. Apple is still on top of our annual ranking of corporate reputation this year, capping a string of 16 years. Amazon, Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway are close behind. Anyone surprised?
But occasionally, a reputational shift demands notice. That happened last year to Pfizer, which came from nowhere to capture the fourth spot on the all-star list, based on its pandemic performance. This year it’s hanging in at number 8. Another mover this year is Occidental Petroleum, which earned the top spot on the mining and crude oil production industry list. That’s a feather in the cap of CEO Vicki Hollub, who may have gotten a boost from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment, but also has led the industry in focusing and investing in efforts to counteract carbon and methane emissions. On the downside, Netflix slid from number 9 to number 29 on our all-star list. And when asked to name the world’s most overrated CEO, survey respondents mentioned Elon Musk most often.
Running a most admired company appears to be correlated with the longevity of CEOs. Warren Buffett (#4) has 53 years on the job. Jamie Dimon (#5) has 17 at JPMorgan Chase. Overall, the CEOs of our 500 all-star companies had an average of 7.8 years as of Jan. 1—25% more than the average Fortune 500 CEO.
A special shout out to the five companies that have been on the list every year since it started 25 years ago: Berkshire Hathaway, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and Toyota. That kind of consistent reputation isn’t easy to maintain.
You can find the full list here, and a note on our methodology here. Other news below.
Intel pay cuts
Intel is slashing pay across its workforce—CEO Pat Gelsinger is lopping a quarter off his own packet, other top execs are losing 15%, and mid-level managers will be 5% worse off. The company is desperate to cut costs due to declining revenues, which are affecting the whole chip sector. There’s also recently been pressure on Gelsinger over the girth of his compensation; Apple and Goldman Sachs have recently cut the pay of CEOs Tim Cook and David Solomon. Fortune
The Nasdaq rose 11% last months, making for its best January since 2001 (12%), which of course turned out to be a pretty terrible year for the tech sector—generally, though, strong Januaries tend to be followed by good years. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average also rose 6.2% and 2.8% respectively last month. Wall Street Journal
Amazon v. unions
Amazon illegally threatened to “withhold wage increases and improved benefits from employees” if they chose to unionize, a federal judge has ruled. The threat was levied last year during unionization elections at a pair of Staten Island warehouses. However, the judge dismissed other accusations, including over Amazon’s alleged threat to cut take-home pay if employees unionized. New York Times
The Ukraine war made Telegram’s app more popular and important than ever. But making money is still a struggle, by Vivienne Walt
Risky stocks are trending again as investors pile into tech’s ultra losers, by Bloomberg
How the airline industry is using A.I. to improve the entire experience of flying, by John Kell
A JPMorgan strategist just said that markets are in big trouble if the economy doesn’t fall into a recession, by Prarthana Prakash
California has a plan for cutting Colorado River use. It involves pretending water doesn’t evaporate, by Associated Press
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.
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