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Incisive Profiles of the 50 Organizations, Large & small, that has Shaped the Course of Modern Business


1. Microsoft Corporation

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Founders: William H. Gates III and Paul Allen Distinction: Created the Systems that drive nearly all the worlds PCs. Primary Products: Computer Software and Internet Services. Annual Sales: $22.956 billion. Number of Employees: 31,400. Major competitors: American Online, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. Chairman and Chief Software Architect: William H. gates III; President & CEO: Steven A. Ballmer. Headquarters: Redmond, Wash. Year founded: 1975. Website:

2. AT&T Corporation

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Founders: Alexander graham Bell, Gardiner Hubbard & Thomas Sanders. Distinction: Launched the Telecommunication revolution. Primary Products: Telephone Services, Internet access, cable television. Annual Sales: $62.391 billion. Number of Employees: 148,000 Major competitors: America Online, MCI WorldCom, and Sprint. Chairman & CEO: C. Michael Armstrong. Headquarters: New York. Year founded: 1877. Website:


Ford Motor Company

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Founders: Henry Ford, Alexander Malcomson, John W. Anderson, C. H. Bennett, James Couzens, Horace E. Dodge, John F. Dodge, Vernon C. Fry, John S. Gray, Horace H. Rackham, Albert Strelow & Charles J. Woodall Distinction: Completely transformed the process of manufacturing. Primary Products: Cars, Trucks and Auto Finance. Annual Sales: $162.558 billion. Number of Employees: 364,550. Major competitors: Daimler Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota. Chairman: William C. Ford Jr; President and CEO: Jacques A. Nasser. Headquarters: Dearborn, Mich. Year founded: 1903 Website:

4. Apple Computer

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Founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak & Mike Markkula. Distinction: Brought computing to people. Primary Products: PC, peripherals, multimedia tools. Number of Employees: 9,376. Annual Sales: $6.134 billion Major competitors: Compaq, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems. CEO: Steve Jobs. Headquarters: Cupertino, Calif. Year founded: 1976. Website:

5. McDonalds Corporation

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Founders: Richard & Maurice McDonald & Ray Kroc. Distinction: Global fast-food revolution. Primary Products: Burgers, chicken nuggets, fries and shakes. Number of Employees: 284,000 in U.S. alone Annual Sales: $35.9 billion. Major competitors: Pizza Hut, Burger King, Wendys, and Taco Bell. Chairman & CEO: Jack Greenberg. Headquarters: Oak Brook, Illinois. Year founded: 1955. Website:

6. America Online Inc.

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Founder: Steven M. Case. Distinction: Opened Cyberspace to masses worldwide. Primary Products: Internet access, online content and related software. Number of Employees: 12,100. Annual Sales: $6.886 billion. Major competitors: AT&T, Microsoft, and Yahoo! Chairman & CEO: Steven M. Case. Headquarters: Dulles, VA. Year founded: 1991. Website:

7. FedEx Corporation

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Founder: Fredrick W. Smith. Distinction: Created the next-day delivery industry. Primary business: Worldwide express delivery of packages & documents. Number of Employees: 141,000. Annual Sales: $16.774 billion. Major competitors: DHL, UPS, U.S. Postal Service. Chairman, President & CEO: Fredrick W. Smith. Headquarters: Memphis, Tenn. Year founded: 1971. Website:

8.CBS Corporation

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Founder: William S. Paley. Distinction: made television journalism respectable and influential. Primary Products: TV and Radio programming. Number of Employees: 28,900. Annual Sales: $7.373 billion. Major competitors: ABC, Fox Entertainment, NBC. Chairman: David McLaughlin; President & CEO: Mel Karmazin. Headquarters: New York Year founded: 1927. Website:

9. Philip Morris Companies

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Founder: Philip Morris Distinction: Made cigarettes popular; now struggling bcoz of them. Primary Products: Cigarettes, beer and food products. Number of Employees: 137,100 Annual Sales: $78.596 billion. Major competitors: Anheuser-Busch, British American Tobacco and Nestle. Chairman & CEO: Geoffrey C. Bible. Headquarters: New York. Year founded: 1919 Website:

10.Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

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Founder: Sam Walton. Distinction: Parlayed retailing innovations into worldwide dominance. Primary Products: Softgoods, hardgoods, electronics, groceries. Number of Employees: 1,140,000. Annual Sales: $165.013 billion. Major competitors: Kmart, Target, Costco Wholesale. Chairman: Sam Walton. President & CEO: H. Lee Scott Jr. Headquarters: Bentonville.

Year founded: 1962. Website:

11. General Electric Company

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Founder: Thomas A. Edison. Distinction: It lit up our lives. Primary Products: Electric equipment, home appliances, jet engines, financial services, broadcasting. Number of Employees: 340,000. Annual Sales: $110.832 billion. Major competitors: Matsushita, Rolls Royce, Siemens. Chairman & CEO: John F. Welch Jr. Headquarters: Fairfield, Conn.

Year founded: 1892. Website:

12. IBM Corporation

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Founder: Thomas Watson Sr. Distinction: the king of technology throughout the technology age. Primary Products: Computer hardware, software, peripherals, service. Number of Employees: 307,401 Annual Sales: $87.548 billion. Major competitors: Chairman & CEO: Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y. Year founded: 1911.


13. Sears, Roebuck, and Co.

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Founders: Richard Sears & Alvah C. Roebuck Distinction: Worlds first mass-retailing network. Primary Products: Apparel, home fashions, appliances, home improvement products, Lawn and garden equipment. Number of Employees: 324,000 Annual Sales: $41.071 billion. Major competitors: Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penney. Chairman, President & CEO: Alan Lacey.

Headquarters: Hoffman Estates. Year founded: 1886. Website:

14. General Motors

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Founder: William Durant. Distinction: Worlds No. 1 automaker & largest company in terms of sales. Primary Products: Cars, Trucks & related products. Number of Employees: 388,000 Annual Sales: $176.558 billion. Major competitors: Daimler Crysler, Ford, Toyota. Chairman: John F. Smith Jr.

President & CEO: G. Richard Wagoner Jr. Headquarters: Detroit, Mich. Year founded: 1908 Website:

15. J.P.Morgan & Company.

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Founder: J.P.Morgan Distinction: Preserved & expanded the American Financial System. Primary Products: Commercial banking & investment services. Number of Employees: 15,152 Annual Sales: $ 18.110 billion. Major competitors: Deutsche bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch. Chairman & CEO: Douglas A. Sandy Warner III Headquarters: New York

Year founded: 1854 Website:

16. Union Pacific Corporation.

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Founders: Oakes Ames, Oliver Ames & Thomas C. Durant. Distinction: Helped bridge east and west with first transcontinental road. Primary Products: Transportation services by train and truck. Number of Employees: 52,000 Annual Sales: $11.273 billion. Major competitors: Burlington Northern, Santa Fe, FedEx, Norfolk Southern.

Chairman President & CEO: Richard Davidson. Headquarters: Omaha, Neb Year founded: 1862 Website:

17. RCA Corporation. Fact File:

Founders: Thomas A. Edison, Elihu Thomson & Edwin Houston. Distinction: Brought radio, then television, into American homes. Primary Products: Televisions, camcorders, other consumer electronics. Number of Employees: 22,800. Annual Sales: $4.5 billion Major competitors: Matsushita, Philips Electronics. Chairman & CEO: S.A Thomson and Thomson Multimedia: Thierry Breton. Headquarters: Indianapolis, Ind.

Year founded: 1960. Website:

18. Nike Inc.

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Founders: Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. Distinction: Made the sports shoe a cultural icon. Primary Products: Athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories. Number of Employees: 20,700. Annual Sales: $8.777 billion. Major competitors: Adidas-Salomon, Fila, Reebok. Chairman & CEO: Philip Knight.

Headquarters: Beaverton Year founded: 1962. Website:

19. Intel Corporation.

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Founders: Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Distinction: Invented microprocessor, paving way for computer revolution. Primary Products: Computer chips, networking and communications gear. Number of Employees: 70,200 Annual Sales: $29.389 billion. Major competitors: Advanced micro Devices, IBM, and Motorola. Chairman Emeritus: Gordon Moore.

Chairman: Andrew S. Grove; President & CEO: Craig R. Barett. Headquarters: Santa Clara, Ca. Year founded: 1968. Website:

20. Cable News Network.

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Founder: Ted Turner. Distinction: Worlds first live, 24*7 television network. Primary Products: TV, Radio, Internet news program Number of Employees: 4,000. Annual Sales: Unavailable Major competitors: CNBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC.

Chairman President & CEO: W. Thomas Johnson. Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga. Year founded: 1980. Website:

21. The Boeing Company

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Founders: William E. Boeing. Distinction: Evolved with aviation industry from biplanes to Lunar Orbiters. Primary Products: Commercial & military aircrafts, rockets, satellites. Number of Employees: 197,100 Annual Sales: $57.993 billion. Major competitors: Airbus Industries, EADS, and Lockheed Martin.

Chairman & CEO: Philip M. Condit; President & COO: Harry Stonecipher. Headquarters: Seattle Year founded: 1916. Website:

22.Hewlett-Packard Co.

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Founders: Bill Hewlett & David Packard. Distinction: Leader in technology & the business world that produces it. Primary Products: PCs, Printing and imaging products. Number of Employees: 84,400 Annual Sales: $42.370 billion.

Major competitors: Compaq, IBM, Xerox. Chairman President & CEO: Carleton S. Carly Fiorina. Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif. Year founded: 1939 Website:

23. Standard Oil Company.

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Founders: John D. Rockefeller, Samuel Andrews & Henry M. Flagler Distinction: Worlds largest oil refiner before dismantling by the Supreme Court. Primary Products: Kerosene, fuel, lubricant. Major competitors: None. Founder & President: John D. Rockefeller

Founding location: Cleveland, Ohio. Market Value B4 dissolution: $100 million. Years in existence: 1870-1911.

24. Sony Corporation.

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Founders: Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio. Distinction: Remade the global consumer electronics marketplace. Primary Products: Electronic devices, movies, TV shows, recorded music. Number of Employees: 189,700 Annual Sales: $63.082 billion.

Major competitors: Matsushita, Philips Electronics, Time Warner. Chairman & CEO: Nobuyuki Idei; President: Kunitake Ando Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan Year founded: 1946. Website:

25. USX-U.S. Steel Group

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Founders: Elbert H. Gary and J. Pierpont Morgan. Distinction: When launched, it was the largest business enterprise of all time. Primary Products: Sheet, tubular, plate and semi finished steel. Number of Employees: 19266.

Annual Sales: $ 5.380 billion. Major competitors: Bethlehem Steel, LTV and Nucor. Chairman & CEO, USX: Thomas J. Usher; President, US Steel Group: Paul J. Wilhelm. Headquarters: Pittsburgh. Year founded: 1901. Website:

26. Agence France-Presse. Fact File:

Founder: Charles-Louis Haves. Distinction: Worlds oldest international news agency. Primary Products: Words, photos and graphics for client media worldwide. Annual Sales: $227.7 million.

Number of Employees: 1,998. Major competitors: Associated Press, Reuters and United Press International. President & CEO: Eric Giuily; Deputy Chief Executive/ Managing Editor: Denis Brulet. Headquarters: Paris Year founded: 1835 Website:

27. Levitt & Sons

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Founders: William & Alfred Levitt. Distinction: Created 20th Century American suburbia. Primary Products: Small, Low cost houses for the masses.

Total Production: More than 140000 houses all over the world. Founder: William Levitt Headquarters: Levittown. Year founded: 1929-1968. Value when sold: Company sold to ITT in 1968 for $92 million.

28. Walt Disney Company

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Founder: Walt Elias Disney. Distinction: Family Entertainment.

Primary Products: Movies, Videos, Television, software, resort properties. Annual Sales: $23.402 billion. Number of Employees: 117,000 Major competitors: Fox Entertainment, Time Warner & Viacom. Chairman & CEO: Michael D. Eisner; Headquarters: Burbank. Year founded: 1923. Website:

29. Netscape Communications.

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Founders: James Clark & Marc Andreessen.

Distinction: Rewrote rules for net navigation and IPOs. Primary Products: Internet browser, Web Portal, online development tools. Annual Sales: $447.8 million. Number of Employees: 2,936. Major competitors: Lycos, Microsoft, Yahoo! Vice President & GM, Netscape Net center: Jim Martin Headquarters: Mountain View. Year founded: 1994 Website:

30. The Coca-Cola Company

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Founder: Dr. John Stith Pemberton. Distinction: Made soft drinks a global obsession. Primary Products: Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Sprite, Minute Maid. Annual Sales: $19.805 billion. Number of Employees: 37,400. Major competitors: Cadbury Schweppes, PepsiCo, Quaker Oats. Chairman & CEO: Douglas N. Draft Headquarters: Atlanta Year founded: 1886 Website:

31. Thyssen Krupp AG

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Founder: Friedrich Krupp. Distinction: Helped finance, and arm, the Nazi regime in World War II. Primary Products: Metal Fabrication, Industrial plants, automotive parts Annual Sales: $ 29.749 billion. Number of Employees: 116,174. Major competitors: Mannesmann AG, Rpbert Bosch, Usinor. Chairman (Automotive): Gerhard Cromme; Chairman (Steel): Ekkehard Schulz; Headquarters: Dusseldorf, Germany Year founded: 1810. Website:

32. Procter & Gamble Co.

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Founders: William Procter and James Gamble. Distinction: made name in soaps, invented soap operas to promote them. Primary Products: Cleaning, paper, beauty, food, health-care items. Annual Sales: $ 38.125 billion. Number of Employees: 110,000. Major competitors:Johnson & Johnson, Kimberley-Clark, Unilever. Chairman: John Pepper; President & CEO: Alan G. Lafley. Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio. Year founded: 1837. Website:

33. Yahoo! Inc.

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Founders: David Filo and Jerry Yang. Distinction: Original online search engine. Primary Products: Web directory, chat, shopping, community functions. Annual Sales: $ 588.6 million. Number of Employees: 2,711 Major competitors: America Online, Microsoft, Lycos. Chairman & CEO: Timothy Koogle. Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif. Year founded: 1994. Website:

34. Toyota Motor Company.

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Founder: Sakichi Toyoda. Distinction: Revolutionized automobile production for the global age. Primary Products: Cars, pickups, minivans and SUVs. Annual Sales: $ 105.832 billion. Number of Employees: 183,879. Major competitors: Daimler Chrysler, Ford, General Motors. Chairman: Hiroshi Okuda; President: Fujio Cho. Headquarters: Toyota City, Japan. Year founded: 1937. Website:

35. People Express Airlines.

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Founder: Donald Burr. Distinction: Made air travel affordable. Primary Products: No-frills, cut-rate airline flights. Annual Sales: $ 1 billion at peak. Number of Employees: 3,500 at peak. Major competitors: American Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines. Headquarters: Newark, New Jersey. Years in existence: 1981-1986.

36. Manpower Inc.

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Founders: Elmer Winter and Aaron Scheinfeld. Distinction: Made temp an indelible part of the corporate vocabulary. Primary Products: Temporary workers for assorted positions worldwide. Annual Sales: $ 9.770 billion. Number of Employees: 2,016,000. Major competitors: Adecco, Randstad Holding, Vedior. Chairman: John R. Walter; President & CEO: Jeffrey A. Joerres. Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wis. Year founded: 1948. Website:

37. Toys R Us.

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Founder: Charles Lazarus. Distinction: Invented the toy supermarket and carpet-killer concepts. Primary Products: Toys, games, sporting goods, software, kids furniture. Annual Sales: $ 11.862 billion. Number of Employees: 76,000. Major competitors: eToys, Kmart, Wal-Mart. Chairman: Michael Goldstein; President & CEO: John H. Eyler Jr. Headquarters: Paramus, N.J. Year founded: 1978. Website:

38. National Football League.

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Founders: Ralph Hay, George Papa Bear Halas, Jim Thorpe and others. Distinction: Reshaped professional sports and associated business: Primary business: Overseas individual franchises, general merchandising and marketing. Annual Sales: $ 3.27 billion. Number of Employees: 150 Major competitors: major League Baseball, MBA, and National Hockey League. Commissioner: Paul J. Tagliabue; President and COO: Neil Austrian. Headquarters: New York Year founded: 1920 Website:

39. Kellogg Company.

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Founder: Will Keith (W.K) Kellogg. Distinction: Invented and popularized toasted grain-based foods. Primary Products: Breakfast cereals and other grain-based foods. Annual Sales: $ 6.8 billion. Number of Employees: 14,500 Major competitors: General Mills, Kraft foods, Quaker Oats President & CEO: Carlos Gutierrez. Headquarters: Battle Creek, Mich. Year founded: 1906. Website:

40. Johnson Publishing Company.

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Founder: John H. Johnson. Distinction: Worlds largest black-owned publishing company. Primary Products: magazines, books, cosmetics and traveling fashion show. Annual Sales: $371.9 million. Number of Employees: 2,647 Major competitors: BET, Essence Communications and LOreal. Chairman Publisher & CEO: John H. Johnson. Headquarters: Chicago, Ill. Year founded: 1942. Website:

41. Firestone Tire & Rubber.

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Founder: Harvey Samuel firestone. Distinction: Developed the first pneumatic automobile tire. Primary business: Manufacturing and selling vehicle tires. Annual Sales: $7.4 billion. Number of Employees: 45,000 Major competitors: Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear and Michelin. Chairman & CEO: John Lampe; President: Kenji Shibata. Headquarters: Nashville, Tenn. Year founded: 1900. Website:

42. Avon Products Inc.

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Founders: David McConnell and Mrs. P. F.E. Albee. Distinction: Created one of the first woman-friendly work environments. Primary Products: Beauty products, fragrances. Annual Sales: $5.289 billion. Number of Employees: 33,900 Major competitors: LOreal, Mary Kay, Revlon. Chairman: Stanley C. Gault. President & CEO: Andrea Jung. Headquarters: New York. Year founded: 1886. Website:

43. Hilton Hotels Corporation.

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Founder: Conrad N. Hilton. Distinction: Developed the first coast-to-coast hotel chain. Primary Products: Hotels, resorts and time-share properties. Annual Sales: $1.769 billion. Number of Employees: 45,000 Major competitors: Accor, Marriott, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Chairman: Barron Hilton President & CEO: Stephen F. Bollenbach. Headquarters: Beverly Hills. Year founded: 1919 Website:

44. Ben & Jerrys Homemade.

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Founders: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Distinction: Successfully combined business and social activism. Primary Products: Ice cream, frozen yogurt and related products. Annual Sales: $237 million. Number of Employees: 751 Major competitors: Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, TCBY Enterprises, President & CEO: Yves Couette. Headquarters: South Burlington Year founded: 1978. Website:

45. RE / MAX International

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Founder: Dave Liniger. Distinction: Created the first global agent friendly real estate network. Primary Business: Real Estate Sales on six continents. Annual Sales: $1 million in U.S. alone. Number of Employees: 58,000 Major competitors: Century 21, Coldwell Banker. Chairman: Dave Liniger CEO: Gail Liniger Headquarters: Englewood, Co. Year founded: 1973. Website:

46. The Singer Company N.V.

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Founders: Issac merit Singer. Distinction: Made it easier to produce professional-looking apparel at home. Primary Products: Sewing machines and other consumer appliances. Annual Sales: $1.263 billion. Number of Employees: 18,000 Major competitors: Brother international, Electrolux AB, Hirsch. Chairman: James H. Ting; President & CEO: Stephen H. Goodman. Headquarters: Curacao, Netherlands Year founded: 1851. Website:

47. The Shorebank Corp.

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Founders: Ronald Grzywinski, Mary Houghton, James Fletcher Distinction: Nations oldest and largest community development bank. Primary Products: Financial services for businesses and individuals. Annual Sales: $991.297 million. Number of Employees: 337 Major competitors: Louisville Community Development Bank, Vermont National bank, Wainwright Bank & Trust Company. President & CEO: Margaret A. Cheap. Headquarters: Chicago, Ill Year founded: 1973


48. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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Founders: Marcus Loew and Louis B. Mayer. Distinction: Epitomized Hollywood and America during 1920s and 1930s. Primary Products: Theatrical films, television shows, home video, licenced products. Annual Sales: $1.2 billion. Number of Employees: 870 Major competitors: Sony Pictures, Time Warner Walt Disney Company Chairman & CEO: Alex Yemenidjian Headquarters: Santa Monica Year founded: 1924


49. L.L.Bean.

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Founder: Leon Leonwood Bean. Distinction: Pioneered mail-order retailing. Primary Products: Outdoor gear, clothing, shoes, luggage. Annual Sales: $1.07 billion. Number of Employees: 4,000 Major competitors: REI, Lands End, Spiegel, The Gap. President & CEO: Leon A. Gorman. Headquarters: Freeport, Maine. Year founded: 1912 Website:

50. H.J.Heinz Company

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Founders: Henry John Heinz and John Noble. Distinction: Made ketchup a household name. Primary Products: Condiments, tuna, soup, frozen foods, baby food. Annual Sales: $9.3 billion. Number of Employees: 40,500 Major competitors: Bestfoods, Campbell Soup, ConAgra, Del Monte, Nestle. President & CEO: William R. Johnson. Headquarters: Pittsburgh Year founded: 1869 Website: