Three Arkansas companies were named to Fortune magazine’s annual “World’s Most Admired Companies” list for 2021. Walmart, Murphy USA and Tyson Foods were among the 332 companies listed as the most admired in the world.
Walmart had the highest ranking of the Arkansas companies, coming in at no. 11. The Bentonville retailer also came in second among its industry sector – “General Merchandisers” – behind Target, which was no. 1 in the industry, but ahead of Costco Wholesale, which was no. 3 in the industry. (However, Costco Wholesale narrowly beat Walmart out of the top 10 overall ranking, taking the no. 10 spot.)
According to Fortune’s score breakdown, Walmart is no. 1 for global competitiveness and financial soundness, and was ranked no. 2 in innovation and social responsibility. The company received scores of 3 in people management, use of corporate assets, quality of management, and long-term investment value.
In 2020, Walmart received multiple other honors from Fortune, coming in no. 1 on both the Fortune 500 list and on the Global 500 list. It also was ranked no. 9 on the “Change the World” list in 2020.
Murphy USA had the second-highest score for an Arkansas company at no. 218 overall. In its industry sector, “Specialty Retailers,” Murphy USA came in no. 8. This industry ranking was an increase over its previous ranking of no. 12.
Tyson Foods was named no. 305 on the “World’s Most Admired Companies” list. The Springdale company was named the most admired in the Food Production industry.
In Tyson’s score breakdown, the company received no. 1 marks in innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, quality of products/services, and global competitiveness.
“This recognition from the business community is a tremendous testament to our 139,000 dedicated and talented team members worldwide,” Tyson Foods president and CEO Dean Banks said in a statement. “We continue to put the health and safety of our hard-working team members first and are proud of their commitment to producing high quality, sustainable and nutritious protein to feed our country and the world.”
The world’s most admired company was Apple, followed by Amazon at no. 2 and Microsoft at no. 3. The Walt Disney Company and Starbucks filled out the top five at no. 4 and no. 5, respectively.
The remaining companies in the top 10 were, in order, Berkshire Hathaway, Alphabet (parent company of Google), JPMorgan Chase, Netflix, and Costco Wholesale.
California had the most companies in the most admired list with 36. It had four companies in the top 10, including the no. 1 company – of the list: Apple, Walt Disney Company, Alphabet and Netflix. Washington state also had four companies in the top 10: Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and Costco Wholesale. However, Washington only had seven companies on the list in total.
New York had the second greatest number of companies on the list with 23, followed by Illinois with 19 and Texas with 16. Six states had 10 or more companies on the list. These include Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Collaborating with Korn Ferry, Fortune determined the most admired companies by beginning with approximately 1,500 companies: the 1,000 largest U.S. companies by revenue along with non-U.S. companies with revenues of $10 billion or more. These companies were narrowed to 670.
To determine the final list, Korn Ferry questioned executives and analysts, asking them to rate companies in their own industries.