For the third year in a row, Alphabet is ranked first on Forbes’ Global 2000 list of the World’s Best Employers. The tech juggernaut and Google parent company is followed by Microsoft, which is ranked second, and open-source software producer Red Hat, ranked third. Apple and SAP round out the top five.
To create the 500-company ranking, Statista analyzed 1.4 million recommendations sourced from a global poll and several regional surveys. Among other questions, respondents around the world were asked to rate their own employer and the likelihood that they would recommend this employer to a friend or family member. They also rated other employers they admired.
Though this methodology put Alphabet at the top of the list, it doesn’t account for what in many ways was a tumultuous year for the company. Google employees made headlines last November after they organized a series of high-profile walkouts in response to the company’s handing of sexual harassment claims. Thousands of employees participated. In a letter published by New York magazine, the organizers of the walkouts said they demanded “an end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel [Google’s] destructive culture.” Google vowed to improve its policies in the wake of the massive protests.
Google’s treatment of its temporary and contract workers has also drawn scrutiny this year. In April, the company announced that it will require that these types of workers receive a $15 minimum hourly wage and comprehensive healthcare benefits.
As of October 18, 2019, Alphabet had a market cap of roughly $870 billion. More than 100,000 employees work under Alphabet’s umbrella, and according to a recent SEC filing, the majority of the company’s new hires last quarter were engineers and product managers. The company reported revenues of $38.9 billion last quarter—an increase of 19% versus the same period last year.
Open-source and cloud software provider Red Hat, a newcomer to the list, was acquired by IBM this summer for a whopping $34 billion. After the deal closed, IBM chief vinancial officer James Kavanaugh said that the company had hired 1,000 new employees to cope with growing demand.
While the top spots on this year’s Best Employers list are dominated by tech companies (including Cisco at No. 8, Amazon at No. 10 and IBM at No. 11), the finance and banking industry was the best-represented on the list as a whole. Fifty-two regional banks made the top 500, including Switzerland’s Banque Cantonale Vaudoise at No. 30 and India’s HDFC Bank at No. 119. Thirty-two investment services companies also made the cut, including Berkshire Hathaway at No. 26 and the Japan Exchange Group at No. 38.
Just like last year, companies from the United States accounted for nearly two fifths of the list, including seven of the top ten. Seventy-one companies from China and Hong Kong were featured on the list, though just one company from that category broke the top ten (China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology, at No. 7). Employers from India accounted for the third-largest category, with 33 companies represented, including construction services firm Larsen & Toubro (No. 29).
This list is based on the 2019 Forbes Global 2000 list, which tracks the world’s largest public companies. Last year, companies on the list accounted for more than $40 trillion in annual revenue and upwards of $186 trillion in global assets.
I’m an assistant editor on Forbes’ Money team, covering markets, fintech, and blockchain. I recently completed my master’s degree in business and economic reporting at New York University. Before becoming a journalist, I worked as a paralegal specializing in corporate compliance and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.