10 of the largest American companies
Largest American companies 2016
Originating in Arkansas, with its first store opening in 1962, Walmart has now become one of America’s largest retail giants. With over 1,000,000 products available and a client base of over 250 million customers, Walmart has opened 11,500 stores in 28 countries.
With a revenue of over $482.1 billion, the company has become one of the biggest influences in the retail market.
Formed in 1999 through a merger with Exxon and Mobil, ExxonMobil is one of the world’s supermajors, becoming one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.
With 37 oil refineries, the company’s revenue in 2015 reached $268.88 billion.
The rise in digital technology has become increasingly paramount, in addition to the increased need for companies to provide products which are efficient, smart and innovative. Apple has become one of the biggest innovators, with a brand worth $118.9 billion.
Founded in 1976 in California by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the international company now creates a multitude of entertainment products, from music devices, TV’s, phones and educational products sold online and in 478 stores situated in 17 countries.
With headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest multinational conglomerates in the world.
Obtaining eight other companies under its umbrella, which range from infrastructure, fast food and clothing, the company also has obtained smaller holdings in renowned companies, such as Cola-Cola and American Express, amongst others.
Healthcare is one of the most significant and vital industries in the world, at which McKesson Corporation has become a driving force.
Founded by John McKesson and Charles Olcott, the business incorporates both technology and distribution solutions.
Founded in 1917 by Frank and L. E. Phillips, Phillips 66 has become a leading multinational energy manufacturing and logistics company, with $161.21 billion revenue recorded in 2014, which has since increased.
Founded in 1908, General Motors is one of the most well established automotive companies, designing, manufacturing and distributing vehicle parts around the world.
In 2018, the company will be opening five manufacturing plants in China, which alongside established stores, will provide vehicles under brands such as Chevrolet, Vauxhall, Baojun and Cadillac.
Providing food, agricultural, financial and industrial products, Cargill has expanded to over 70 countries since its opening in 1865, obtaining $107.2 billion in sales and other revenues in 2016 thus far.
Founded by William Wallace Cargill, the company is now one of the largest privately owned businesses.
The company was also the first American exporter to provide Beef to Japan after the country lifted its ban on American beef in 2006.
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How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”