Apple Earns Sixth Place on ‘Top 100 Global Technology Leaders’ List

Thomson Reuters today published its first "Top 100 Global Technology Leaders" list, designed to pinpoint and celebrate "the industry's most operationally sound and financially successful organizations." The list's top five companies are Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM, and Alphabet.

Apple sits in sixth place, followed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, SAP, Texas Instruments, and Accenture. Thomson Reuters explained that it assessed each company using a 28-data-point algorithm to "objectively identify organizations with the fortitude for the future in today's complex business environment."


Specifically, each company saw its performance in eight categories measured before being ranked: Financial, Management and Investor Confidence, Risk and Resilience, Legal Compliance, Innovation, People and Social Responsibility, Environmental Impact, and Reputation.
"Tech companies operate at warp speed confronting competitive, regulatory, legal, financial, supply chain and myriad other business challenges. Oftentimes, their financial success overshadows their operational integrity, making it difficult to identify those organizations with true longevity for the future," said Alex Paladino, global managing director of the Thomson Reuters Technology Practice Group. "With the Top 100 Global Tech Leaders, we've identified the unique data points that embody technology-industry leadership in the 21st century; congratulations to the companies that made the list."
Outside of the top 10, companies like Amazon, Facebook, Mastercard, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Pegatron made it onto the list. These remaining 90 companies on the list are not ranked, but were measured and added based on the same 28-factor algorithm as the top 10. The entire list was restricted to companies that have at least $1 billion in annual revenue as well.

The full report goes into greater detail and breaks down how each individual category was researched for the companies. For example, the number of granted patents that are issued each year factored into Innovation, and an overall news sentiment and global media score measured a company's Reputation. For Legal Compliance, Thomson Reuters measured the amount of litigation where the company was a defendant "in the areas of employment/labor, intellectual property, commercial law and contracts, civil rights, and unfair competition."

The researchers didn't go into Apple's performance statistics for each of the eight categories, but they did provide a few tidbits about the overall rankings. In total, 45 percent of the 100 companies are headquartered in the United States, followed by Japan and Taiwan tied in second place with 13 companies each, and then India with five. In terms of continents, North America led with 47 companies, Asia followed closely with 38, Europe had 14, and Australia had one (stock transfer company Computershare).

Apple topped a few lists over the past year, including Interbrand's "2017 Best Global Brands," Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies," and climbing to become the World's Most Profitable Company on the Fortune Global 500 list. Conversely, in December Apple dropped to 84th on Glassdoor's annual list of the best companies to work for in the United States, after earning the 10th spot on the same list years prior in 2012.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeks to Block Shareholder Proposals on Environment and Human Rights Given Its Existing Focus on Those Issues

Apple is said to be "pushing back" on multiple shareholder proposals that deal with issues like Apple's greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and human rights, discovered in letters the Cupertino company sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission in November (via Reuters). At least four proposals were argued as relating to "ordinary business," with Apple further stating that they are "not necessary" due to the company's day-to-day focus on those issues.

Apple's letters state that this means the proposals can be left off of the proxy it is expected to publish in early 2018, ahead of its annual shareholders meeting where these proposals would be heard. Apple says these are areas it "routinely reviews" and therefore they do not represent "significant policy issues" that it classifies as requiring a shareholder vote.


Still, some activists argue that the move by Apple "could sharply restrict investor rights," with the company using a newly enacted guidance put in place by the SEC on November 1 in its attempt to block the proposals.
While companies routinely seek permission to skip shareholder proposals, Apple’s application of the new SEC guidance shows how it could be used to ignore many investor proposals by claiming boards routinely review those areas, said Sanford Lewis, a Massachusetts attorney representing Apple shareholders who had filed two of the resolutions.

Were the SEC to side with Apple, “this would be an incredibly dangerous precedent that would essentially say a great many proposals could be omitted,” Lewis said.
Apple's letter is reported as specifically citing the new SEC guidance. Some of the four shareholder proposals include calls for Apple to establish a "human rights committee" that could focus on tackling topics like censorship within the company, as well as asking for further reporting by Apple on its ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental pledges.

Apple's letters to the SEC offered details as to why the shareholder proposals and resolutions are unnecessary. This included references to recent updates in its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report, where the company pledged to end mining and switch to 100 percent recycled material for its products.
In the case of the measure on greenhouse gas emissions, filed by Jantz Management of Boston, for instance, Apple argues it already has taken many steps to improve the sustainability of its operations such as switching to greener materials and helping suppliers use more renewable energy.
Apple's 2017 shareholders meeting was held on February 28, with that date being confirmed on January 6, so we'll likely know more about the 2018 meeting early in the new year.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


Discuss this article in our forums