SurveyMonkey Reveals America’s Perception of the 2018 Fortune 500 Companies

Tech companies dominate the list of most sought-after employers with Amazon and Apple in the top 10 across all metrics

SAN MATEO, Calif., July 10, 2018 – SurveyMonkey, the leading People Powered Data platform, in collaboration with Fortune, today released the third edition of its annual U.S. consumer rankings of Fortune 500 companies. Americans were asked to rank the top 75 companies from the list based on their employer appeal, impact on the country and innovation (willingness to change in pursuit of success), among other dimensions.

Tech companies lead the list of dream employers

Following a strong performance in 2017, tech companies occupy half of the top 10 spots in the ranking and continue to be some of the most appealing employers for Americans:

  • Alphabet (Google) rose from #3 on the 2017 list and replaced Microsoft as the company that Americans would be most excited to work for—ranking highly overall with Americans, but also among millennials and people who value diversity the most in an employer.
  • Apple was named the top choice for Americans who value diversity the most in an employer.
  • Amazon tops the list of companies that care most about their customers. When asked for the one word that describes Amazon, “innovative” came up much more often than any other word.
  • Boeing and Walt Disney Company repeat their appearances among top employers of choice for Americans, with General Electric (#22 in 2017) and Berkshire Hathaway (#27 in 2017) both making big jumps into this year’s top 10 ranking.

Top 10 Companies Americans Are Excited to Work for Top 10 Companies Women Are Most Excited to Work for Top 10 Companies Men Are Most Excited to Work for Top 10 Companies Millennials Are Most Excited to Work for
1 Alphabet (Google) (↑3) Walt Disney Company Boeing Microsoft
2 Microsoft (↓1) Microsoft Alphabet (Google) Alphabet (Google)
3 Boeing (↑5) Alphabet (Google) Apple Walt Disney Company
4 Apple (4) Apple Intel Apple
5 Walt Disney Company (↓2) Amazon Lockheed Martin Boeing
6 Intel (6) Boeing Microsoft Intel
7 Amazon (7) Intel Berkshire Hathaway Amazon
8 General Electric (↑22) HP Ford Motor Company United Technologies
9 Berkshire Hathaway (↑27) General Electric (GE) Caterpillar HP
10 Lockheed Martin (↓8) Dell Technologies Amazon Berkshire Hathaway

Numbers in parentheses are 2017 rankings

Fortune 500 companies people are most excited to work for
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Fortune 500 companies millenials are most excited to work for
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A focus on diversity and building trust pays off

Americans who value diversity most in a potential employer also predominantly name tech companies as their employers of choice, with Apple leading the pack. However, when it comes to trust, tech companies could learn a thing or two from other industries to start building lasting customer relationships.

Amazon leads the list of companies that care most about their customers, including the top 10 ranking from consumers who value trust the most when making their purchasing decisions. Apple is the only other tech brand in the top 10 companies that care most about their customers, rising to #8 on the list (up from #10 in 2017). Older brands, including Lowe’s and Walt Disney Company, lead a decidedly non-tech focused list of companies that are perceived to be the most caring about their customers.

Top 5 Companies People Want to Work for (Among Those Who Value Diversity Most in a Potential Employer) Top 5 Most Customer-Centric Companies (Among Those Who Value Trust the Most)
1 Apple Amazon
2 Amazon FedEx
3 Alphabet (Google) Walt Disney Company
4 Microsoft United Parcel Service (UPS)
5 United Technologies Costco Wholesale
Fortune 500 companies that value diversity
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Fortune 500 companies that care most about customers
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Americans aren’t fond of financial services

Americans still aren’t big fans of banks, brokerages and lenders, with seven of the top 10 companies that have lost ground in the 2018 SurveyMonkey|Fortune 500 ranking all coming from the financial sector. American Airlines stands out as the only airline named among top companies with the most negative change in the general public’s view. Meanwhile, Amazon and United Parcel Service (UPS) are cited as companies with the most positive change.

Most Positive Change Most Negative Change
1 Amazon (1) Fannie Mae
2 United Parcel Service (UPS) (2) Freddie Mac
3 Alphabet (Google) (↑5) Bank of America
4 Costco Wholesale (↓3) Walmart
5 Ford Motor Company(↑13) Pfizer
6 Apple (↑20) Wells Fargo
7 Microsoft (7) American Airlines
8 FedEx (↓4) Citigroup
9 Lowe’s (↑15) Morgan Stanley
10 HP (↑22) Prudential Financial

Numbers in parentheses are 2017 rankings

Fortune 500 companies with the most negative change in public opinion
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Geography and political affiliation have major influence on the perception of companies

While tech companies may be the most desirable employers, they aren’t as dominant in the ranking of companies with the most positive impact on the country. Overall, UPS leads the ranking for its positive impact, followed by Microsoft, FedEx, Boeing and Amazon.

The national urban/rural divide is clear, with urban dwellers more likely to value tech companies like Alphabet (#6) and Apple (#8) for their positive impact, while rural Americans favor big manufacturers like Boeing (#3) and Ford Motor Company (#9). UPS, FedEx, Intel, Microsoft and Costco Wholesale make appearances on both rural and urban Americans’ top 10 lists of companies that make a difference.

Partisan preferences are quite clear too. Democrats’ top 10 list includes Alphabet (#3), Apple (#6), the Walt Disney Company (#7) and Costco Wholesale (#9), while Republicans favor Caterpillar (#5), Intel (#6), Ford Motor Company (#7) and Lowe’s (#8). Companies favored among both Democratic and Republican voters in the top 10 include Boeing, Microsoft, FedEx, UPS and Amazon.

Companies That Are Having the Best Impact on the Country Urban Rural Democrats Republicans
1 United Parcel Service (UPS) (1) Microsoft United Parcel Service (UPS) Microsoft Boeing
2 Microsoft (2) United Parcel Service (UPS) FedEx United Parcel Service (UPS) FedEx
3 FedEx (3) Amazon Boeing Alphabet (Google) United Parcel Service (UPS)
4 Boeing (↑12) FedEx Amazon FedEx Microsoft
5 Amazon (↓4) Walt Disney Company Microsoft Amazon Caterpillar
6 Walt Disney Company (↓5) Alphabet (Google) Lowe’s Apple Intel
7 Intel (↑8) Costco Wholesale Intel Walt Disney Company Ford Motor Company
8 Apple (↓7) Apple Costco Wholesale Boeing Lowe’s
9 Costco Wholesale (↑10) Home Depot Ford Motor Company Costco Wholesale International Business Machines (IBM)
10 International Business Machines (IBM) (↑13) Intel International Business Machines (IBM) International Business Machines (IBM) Amazon

Numbers in parentheses are 2017 rankings

Fortune 500 companies with the most positive impact on society
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Fortune 500 companies with most positive rural and urban impact
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Other key findings from the 2018 SurveyMonkey|Fortune 500 rankings of the top 75 companies, including full survey results of U.S. consumers can be found here.

Fortune released the Fortune 500, its annual list of the largest corporations in the United States ranked by revenue for the 2017 fiscal year, on Monday, May 21. Please visit for additional coverage or see the June 2018 issue of Fortune Magazine.

Fortune and SurveyMonkey partnered to discover how Americans view the companies in the recently released Fortune 500 ranking. The survey was conducted online from June 12-20, 2018 among a national sample of 19,860 adults ages 18 and older. Respondents for the survey were randomly selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform every day. Data for the survey was weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. Respondents evaluated the top 75 companies ranked in the Fortune 500. Each randomly received 4 companies to evaluate on 5 dimensions: impact to the country, willingness to change, excitement to work, care for customers and recent improvement.

About SurveyMonkey

Founded in 1999 and based in San Mateo, California, SurveyMonkey is the world’s leading people-powered data platform enabling curious individuals and companies—including 99 percent of the Fortune 500—to have conversations at scale with the people who matter most. Whether it’s a trend in the market, opinions of customers, or voices of employees, SurveyMonkey turns them into actionable data. As a pioneer of the industry, SurveyMonkey is a trusted platform for people to express their true feelings and opinions so organizations can uncover the “why” behind the data. SurveyMonkey’s 700+ employees throughout North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific are dedicated to powering the curious. For more information about SurveyMonkey, please visit

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