Until the mid-eighteenth century, the United States of America, one of the most developed countries today, if not the most developed country, didn’t have a single company functioning in it. It was during the period of the Industrial Revolution, between 1760 to 1840, that companies began emerging in this geographical zone. Most of the companies that were formed back then, don’t really exist today, or, they aren’t really well known on a worldwide scale. The companies that you might remember though, include, Jim Beam, JP Morgan Chase, DuPont, Colgate, Citigroup and Harper Collins.
The names that pop up on the Fortune 500 list today, have adapted to the various struggles that companies face accounting to ever changing environmental conditions. They are all unique. The management personnel of each of these companies work hard, year after year, to ensure that this prestige that’s now associated with the company, never dies.
Here are the biggest companies in the USA, in terms of revenue in 2017-2018
13. Verizon Telecommunications (US$131,620 million
Once upon a time in the USA, AT&T was the biggest telecommunication company. Due to some legal issues, the company was forced to break up into seven different companies, called the ‘Baby Bells’. Verizon, is one these ‘Baby Bells’. Initially, it was known as the Atlantic Bell. Between the time period of 2000-2002, Verizon came to be formed after the merger of Atlantic Bell and GTE. Today, it is the largest wireless telecommunication provider in the country. As of 2017, Lowell McAdam remains to be the CEO and chairman of the company.
12. AmerisourceBergen (US$135,962 million
In 2001, two pharmaceutical giants, AmeriSource and Bergen Brunswig got together under a merger to form, perhaps, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the USA. This company thus formed, operates under the name AmerisourceBergen. They are the largest distributors of pharmaceutical products within the country. Most of the company’s operations are in line with distribution services however, the company also provides a couple of other pharmaceutical services.
11. General Electric (US$140,389 million
General Electric has a very interesting history. It officially came to be known as ‘General Electric’ in the year 1892. JP Morgan initially, financed a lot of Thomas Edison’s experiments and research activities. He took an effort to merge all the individual companies that Edison had invested his time in into one, the Edison General Electric Company. This company merged with Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1892 and voila! General Electric was born. Over the last century and longer, the company has grown tremendously, acquiring the title of a conglomerate. Aviation, electrical appliances, software, water etc. are just a few examples of segments in which General Electric is important. Jeffrey R Immelt is acting as the company’s present day Chairman and CEO.
10. AT&T (US$146,801 million
After the divestiture of 1983, AT&T Corporation were broken down into a number of telecommunication companies, popularly known as the ‘Baby Bells’. Southwestern Bell Corporation was just one of the seven Bells. Twenty years later, in 2005, it purchased its parent company AT&T Corp. and along with it acquired all the latter company’s branding rights. In terms of revenue, AT&T is the largest telecommunication company in not just the USA but also the world. As per a study carried out by Brand Finance, AT&T were placed as number 4, in the category of most brand value. The role of Chairman, CEO and President is all being played by Randall Stephenson.
9. Ford Motor Company (US$149,558 million
Henry Ford, is one of the greatest innovators to step on this planet and Ford Motor Company is the birth-child of his remarkable innovation. The company, under his guidance introduced methods of mass production to make automobiles affordable for the general public. Informally known just as ‘Ford’, the company has a considerable presence in not just the USA but also Europe. The legacy of Ford is being carried forward by William C Ford, Jr. who is acting as the executive chairman of the company, while, Mark Fields occupies the important positions of President and CEO.
8. General Motors (US$152,356 million
There’s a certain kind of legacy that’s associated with companies like General Motors. Founded in the early periods of the twentieth century, the company acquired the status of the largest automobile manufacturers, which they maintained for approximately seventy good years. William C Durant founded this legacy which is today being looked after to by Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of the company. ‘GM’ as it’s more commonly known, sells automobiles under twelve different brands. The most popular out of these being: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Vauxhall and Buick.
7. CVS Health (US$153,290 million
Before entering the retail pharmacy space, the company operated chains of beauty and health aiding stores. After realising the potential in retail pharmacy, the company joined up with Melville Corporation to assist them in their growth and expansion related activities. And indeed did they grow. In the year 1996, they split up with Melville Corporation and came to be officially known as CVS Health. The full form of the abbreviation CVS is known to be consumer value stores. It has a good number of subsidiaries under it, underlining the unsaturated growth ambitions of the company. As of today, Larry Merlo is acting as the President and CEO of the company.
6. UnitedHealth Group (US$157,107 million
The company, UnitedHealth Group is the parent company of two major companies: UnitedHealthcare and Optum. The latter of the two companies is the younger of two, primarily catering to BPO services. UnitedHealthcare on the other hand, is a very established brand in the USA. It’s extremely popular among the general masses, winning numerous awards for their performances in the managed health care industry. At the top of the organizational hierarchy of the company lies, Richard T Burke; founder and now Chairman; and Stephen J Hemsley, who is acting as the CEO.
5. McKesson (US$181,241 million
McKesson work in the healthcare industry. However, their actions within the industry are quite diverse. Retailing, healthcare technology and health care services are the core products that the company focuses on. Since it’s conception back in 1833, its name has undergone change a number of times, the only constant in it being ‘McKesson’. The name McKesson was configured as it was the name of one of its founders, the other being Charles Olcott. John Hammergren, the CEO, is the man who is driving the organization forward today.
4. Berkshire Hathaway (US$210,821 million
Berkshire Hathaway is an example of a company who’s CEO is more well known than the company itself. Everyone knows who Warren Buffett is! A credential that’s duly deserved. The company has been growing at nearly 20% every year, a statistic that portrays how successful it has really been, while other companies, working in a similar space have been growing by barely 10% every year. Berkshire Hathaway is not just one of the largest companies in the USA but it’s one of the largest companies in the world. Buffet didn’t start this company. Instead, he continually purchased its shares and consequently got a considerable equity stake in it sometime around 2010.
3. Apple (US$233,715 million
Steve Jobbs. He is by far one of the most inspiring people alive today. But as everyone who has watched ‘Jobbs’ knows, he alone is not solely responsible for the company’s success and incorporation itself. Steve Wozniack and Ronald Wayne played an equally important role. These three people constitute of the body that founded the biggest IT company in the world, Apple. What’s really cool is Apple’s consistency in annually retaining the title, ‘Most Valuable Brand in the World’. The company has had its ups and downs over the years and they have always had the right personnel to turn their situation around. Tim Cook, the CEO of the company is the one who is entrusted with the responsibility of taking Apple to even greater heights.
2. Exxon Mobil (US$246,204 million
America and oil have tended to create news, almost always. Exxon Mobil is America’s pride that’s operating in the Oil and Gas industry. It is one of the largest oil companies in the world and in fact, as a company, it is the largest refiner of oil in the entire world. Exxon Mobil weren’t always one company. Until 1999, Exxon and Mobil were actually two separate companies. Darren Woods is the man occupying the positions of Chairman and CEO. The oil industry has always been profitable and in the year 2014, Exxon Mobil were adjudged as the second most profitable company in the Fortune 500 list.
1. Walmart (US$482,130 million
The first things that pops up is definitely the figure. Walmart’s revenue is nearly twice than the second largest company in the USA. That’s truly, truly remarkable. As the largest employer in the world, it won’t be exaggeration to say that it’s contributing effectively to the society as well. The company was founded by Sam Walton and most of the control of the company lies within the family. Apart from being the largest company in the USA by revenue, due to its market capitalisation it is considered to be one of the most valuable companies in the world. The retail chain primarily caters to American audience however, branches have opened up in UK, South Africa and even in China.
All companies, at the time of incorporation dream about someday, being featured in the Fortune 500 list. For a company to be included in the list itself, is an achievement. These companies have not just made it into the list but they are the ones that have reached the very top of that list. Distinguished by their own corporate culture, they are all united by one thing and that one thing is excellence.