From industry dominating mergers to legacy second-acts, the world’s highest-revenue-generating companies make moves that reverberate. – Consider this fact: Just 500 companies—the ones on this year’s Fortune 500 list, to be precise—produced enough revenue last year to equal two-thirds of the entire economic output of the United States. Think about that a minute: just 500 companies. These same American businesses sold an astounding $13.7 trillion worth of goods and services, a record sum whether you measure it in nominal dollars or adjusted for inflation. But focus in on the numbers and you’ll discover something yet more remarkable: that just a tenth of these companies account for nearly half (48%) of that total revenue. Sharpen your microscope a bit more, and you’ll see that profits among the group are more concentrated still—with a mere 40 companies responsible for 52% of the combined earnings. Twenty-seven of these household names earned at least $10 billion in their most recent fiscal year. Six, moreover, are as rich as mighty nations, with at least $1 trillion in assets on their balance sheets.
Each year, it seems, America’s biggest companies look more and more like a set of matryoshka dolls; companies that a generation ago would have been seen as corporate titans now appear as if they could be swallowed up as midday snacks by the real behemoths. That’s one of the takeaways from this year’s Fortune 500 ranking—the 65th running of the list: The big are getting bigger, and the rich are getting richer. And, as Erika Fry explores in an opening essay, there are a host of reasons why—from the rise of corporate ecosystems, to the increasing competitive need for scale, to the power-concentrating effect of data and information technology…”
The Fortune 500 Has More Female CEOs Than Ever Before “In the latest Fortune 500 list, published Thursday, you’ll find a new record: As of June 1, 33 of the companies on the ranking of highest-grossing firms will be led by female CEOs for the first time ever. To be sure, that sum represents a disproportionately small share of the group as a whole; just 6.6%. But it also marks a considerable jump from last year’s total of 24, or 4.8%…”