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3M Tops List of Best Companies for Leaders

April 21, 2005
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Minnesota’s 3M tops a new list of the best U.S. companies for leaders.

The rankings were sponsored by Hewitt Associates and the Human Resource Planning Society and were chosen by a panel of authors, professors, business executives and coaches. 3M was first on the list, followed by GE and Johnson & Johnson.

A similar study released earlier this year by Executive Development Associates had GE on top by a healthy margin, followed by Johnson & Johnson, Dell, IBM, Weyerhaeuser, Bank of America, Pepsico, UBS, Procter & Gamble and Cisco.

Hewitt and the HRPS found that the best companies for leaders have CEOs who are actively involved in leadership development; hold leaders accountable for developing their direct reports; and, more than other companies, put part of their senior executives’ incentive pay at risk based on how well they develop other people.

The study also found that 95 percent of the top 20 companies have a CEO succession plan. Only 60 percent of other companies do. And far more of the top companies hired their current CEO from within.

The list below was based on 373 U.S. organizations with an average employee size of nearly 30,000:

1. 3M

2. General Electric

3. Johnson & Johnson

4. Dell

5. Liz Claiborne

6. IBM

7. Procter & Gamble

8. General Mills

9. Medtronic

10. American Express

11. Capital One

12. Whirlpool

13. Colgate-Palmolive

14. Pitney Bowes

15. Pfizer

16. FedEx

17. Washington Group International

18. Home Depot

19. Avery Dennison

20. Sonoco Products

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