20 Most Admired Companies in the World in 2022

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 20 most admired companies in the world in 2022. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 5 most admired companies in the world.

It seems that most companies are facing a reckoning right now. While corporations have often been lambasted because of their capitalistic nature and lack of regard for employees and the general population in lieu of massive profits, the protests against companies seem to have only amplified since the pandemic began. While the Occupy Wall Street protests initially began as a way to oppose the level of money involved in politics and income inequality, with references to the elite 1% holding much of the country's wealth, their ire soon turned to banks and major corporations. However, the protests did not sustain and, after beginning in 2011, faded by 2012.

After the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the world, lockdowns were imposed in most countries around the globe and economies came to a standstill, with most business either shut down, or running on a vastly reduced scale. This led to companies laying of millions across the globe, with the hardest hit industries such as the travel industry laying off the most people, with major companies such as The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL) each laying off thousands of employees. Many companies also considered this an opportunity to lay off employees and reduce costs despite record profits, with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) one of such companies, laying off dozens of talent despite being at its most profitable.

Most Admired Companies in the world in 2022
Most Admired Companies in the world in 2022

However, the pandemic provided an opportunity to employees which resulted in an improvement in work-life balance in their lives. Many are now refusing to work unless it's completely remote, citing the reduced expenses because of not having to commute, not to mention the invaluable time saved. As the economy rebounded, many businesses realized that they needed more employees to run operations smoothly, only for employees to have realized their self-worth in the meanwhile and not being willing to go back to work under the same conditions that they'd been subjected to earlier. This has also led to the Great Resignation, an ongoing economic trend where employees are resigning en masse, starting in April 2021, where in the United States, more than four million resigned from their jobs, followed by 3.9 million resignations in June 2021.

The demand of the employees is similar regardless of class, background and level of experience; better work-life balance, more flexibility and better compensation. According to a study carried out by PwC, 65% of employees said they were looking for a new job while 88% of executives admitted that the rate of turnover in their companies was higher than normal.

Companies seem to be coming to the realization that the days of employee loyalty is over, as it should be, and that they need to do a lot more to improve relations between executives and employees. Further, companies are also significantly under fire due to their contributions to climate change. A 2017 report by the Guardian stated that just 100 companies across the world were responsible for 71% of global emissions, which the companies try to cover by attempting to transfer the onus to regular people, as if they're not to blame. In an effort to improve their image, many companies, including of course the most admired companies in the world, are attempting to rectify their contribution to climate change, often pledging to become carbon neutral or at least significantly reducing their carbon emissions over the next decade or two.

The most admired companies in the world are also some of the most recognizable. These companies have long realized the importance of retaining and attracting top talent and creating and maintaining and image that has won them plaudits all over the world. We have used Fortune's annual ranking based on corporate reputation for 2021, with the rankings determined from responses from more than 3,700 executives, directors and analysts. These rankings don't insinuate that these are the most ethical companies free from any misdeeds plaguing them, which we'll cover more when talking about each company, but are simply an indication of the reputation and standing of the company. This is why some medical companies have climbed within the list since they've been on the forefront in the battle against the deadliest pandemic in a century. However, while we've chosen the top 20 from Fortune, we have then checked Google Trend statistics for each company. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the most admired companies in the world, starting with number 20:

20. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, which has been essential and integral in allowing the resumption of normal activities across the globe. While Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was nowhere near the top 20 in the previous year, now it kicks off the list of most admired companies in the world as it led by example, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has perhaps been integral in dissipating some of the mistrust the general population has towards the biggest pharmaceutical companies.

19. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is one of the biggest conglomerates in the United States. While Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has been much maligned for cancer causing talc-based baby powder and was ordered to pay $2.1 billion to the plaintiffs, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was one of the few companies to develop a valid Covid-19 vaccine, which was instrumental in curbing the pandemic.

18. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT)

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is famous for selling quality items for lower prices and has gained admirers for its focus on sustainability and environmental, social and governance issues by setting measurable goals with the aim to to improve consistently. One of Target Corporation's (NYSE:TGT) recent initiatives includes investing $100 million into Black communities in an effort to combat racism and racial inequality.

17. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) being considered an admired company will definitely rankle some feathers. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has faced a ton of lawsuits based on poor working conditions, low wages, poor health care and Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) being involved in antiunion activities. The fact that it's still in this list speaks volumes about the disconnect between executives and average employees.

16. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Topping the list of the most admired companies in the world for Fortune is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), though it only made it to 16th position in our list.  Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is constantly recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the world as well. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has topped every category used by Fortune in its determination including use of corporate assets, innovation, social responsibility, financial soundness, quality of management, quality of products and services and global competitiveness.

15. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-A)

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-A), run by the legendary Warren Buffett, is admired primarily because of the way its been run by the famous investor. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-A) is the largest financial services company in the world by revenue.

14. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is one of the most well-known companies in the world. In fact, odds are if you're reading this article on a laptop, you're using Microsoft Windows to run your computer! Regularly rated as one of the best places to work at, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) encourages creativity and is held in high regards by its employees.

13. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is one of the biggest chains in the world, with more than 33,000 stores globally. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) also pays full time tuition for all eligible partners in Arizona State University's online program, with more than 1,000 Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) partners having graduated through the program. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) aims to have more than 25,000 partners obtain a degree from ASU by 2025. However, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has also opposed the formation of unions.

12. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX)

The most admired delivery company in the world, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) has been a part of Fortune's list for at least 22 years. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) has more than 850,000 employees worldwide, and despite allegations of distributed substances and narcotics not to mention allegations of tax evasion, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) has still been able to maintain its view as an admired company.

11. Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is one of the few major retailers which has actually been praised by current and ex-employees. Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) may not have unions in the majority of locations but 15,000 employees are union members. Further, Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) has continuously raised the minimum wage of its workers, which is now $16 an hour.

10. Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world today, with more than 220 million subscribers across the globe. While making the list of the most admired companies in the world, it is unlikely that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) will be maintaining its ranking considering its poor performance recently losing subscribers while letting go 300 employees in June. Netflix Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has also seen its share price decline by 61% YTD in 2022.

9. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) being among the most admired companies in the world is definitely going to be controversial, what with the internet being full of stories of the way Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) mistreats its workers, busts unions and tries to stifle worker rights in multiple instances, the truth is that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is still really admired because of its innovation for customers, support for communities and commitment to the environment. Of course, it's worth noting that it is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) itself which has mentioned the above reasons.

8. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)

One of the biggest sports goods manufacturers in the world, NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) has an incredibly strong brand reputation and brand loyalty, which has served it through decades. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)  is also famous for its innovation and creativity, though it does need to do more in terms of social responsibility.

7. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL)

While Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) infamously became the face of poor customer service after it dragged off a doctor from the plane in 2017, but to its credit, Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) did reviews its policies after the incident to improve upon services provided.

6. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is the most admired media and entertainment company in the world. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has been admired in several areas including people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management and quality of products and services. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) seems to have a new lease on life with the launch of Disney+, which has been a massive success so far.

Please continue to see the 5 Most Admired Companies in the World.

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Disclosure: None. 20 most admired companies in the world is originally published at Insider Monkey.