17 CT Companies Reach Fortune 500, From #8 GE (Fairfield) to #487 Amphenol (Wallingford)

Connecticut has a total of 17 companies headquartered in the state that are now ranked on the Fortune 500, as the latest annual business list is published by Fortune magazine this week.  That includes one company, General Electric, in the top 10, a total of seven companies in the top 250, and two that reached the Fortune 500 list this year. The nation's largest companies ranked in the newly updated Fortune 500 list earned combined total annual revenue of $12.5 trillion last year — an all-time high that's up 2.6 percent from the year before.  Total market value of firms that made the 2015 list reached $17.4 trillion as of March 31, also an all-time high that's up 7.7 percent from the previous year, the publication announced.  This year's list of U.S. companies ranked by their 2014 revenue also employ 2fortune500logo6.8 million employees in all, more than ever, according to Fortune, whose issue with the 61st annual ranking is out this week.

The top 10:  Walmart, ExxonMobil; Chevron; Berkshire Hathaway; Apple; General Motors; Phillips 66; General Electric; Ford Motor and CVS Health.  CVS Health made the top 10 for the first time.  There were 19 companies that made their debut on the 2015 list of the nation’s top 500 companies, including Netflix, Salesforce.com, Expedia and News Corp., as 26 firms dropped out of the updated ranking.  Facebook, in its third year on the list, jumped into the top 250, at number 242, up from number 341 a year ago.

The 7 companies headquartered in Connecticut that rank among the 250 top businesses on the list:

  • 8. General Electric of Fairfield (up from 9 last year)
  • 45. United Technologies of Hartford (same as last year)
  • 49. Aetna of Hartford (up from 57)
  • 90. Cigna of Bloomfield (up from 97)
  • 143. Xerox of Norwalk, down from 137.
  • 160. The Hartford Financial Services Group of Hartford (down from 113)
  • 249. Praxair of Danbury (down from 233)

The 8 Connecticut-headquartered companies that remained in the Fortune 500, and 2 companies that earned a slot for the first time:

  • 261. Stanley Black & Decker of New Britain (down from 255)
  • 317. Charter Communications of Stamford (up from 331)
  • 339. Priceline Group of Norwalk (up from 383)
  • 377. Terex of Westport (down from 358)
  • 385. W.R. Berkley of Greenwich (up from 409)
  • 421. EMCOR Group of Norwalk (down from 407)
  • 442. Starwood Hotels & Resorts of Stamford (down from 424)
  • 461. United Rentals of Stamford (up from 500)
  • 486. Harman International Industries of Stamford (up from 576)
  • 487. Amphenol of Wallingford (up from 533)

harmanLogoOne of the two new entries on this year’s list that are headquartered in Connecticut is Harman International Industries, based in Stamford, the parent company behind an array of world-renowned audio brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, JBL®, Mark Levinson®, Lexicon®, and Infinity®.  Well established for six decades, since it was launched by audio pioneer Sid Harmon, the company’s founder, the current Chairman, President and CEO is Dinesh Paliwal. states

Amphenol-Corporation-logoAmphenol World Headquarters is in Wallingford, and a number of the international company’s divisions are also based in Connecticut: Amphenol Nexus Technologies Division is in Stamford, Amphenol Times Microwave and Times Fiber Communications in Wallingford, Spectra Strip in Hamden and Amphenol RF in Danbury.  Amphenol, founded in 1932, is one of the largest manufacturers of interconnect products in the world. The Company designs, manufactures and markets electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, coaxial and flat-ribbon cable, and interconnect systems.  The primary end markets for the company's products are communications and information processing markets, including cable television, cellular telephone and data communication and information processing systems; aerospace and military electronics; and automotive, rail and other transportation and industrial applications. (see company video)

Fortune 500 companies had revenues last year that equaled 71.9 percent of U.S. GDP—up from 58.4 percent two decades ago, and 35 percent in 1955, according to Fortune. “To be sure, much of that revenue comes from overseas operations. But these companies are still the guts of the U.S., and the global, economy,” the publication points out.greatest challenge

As part of the magazine’s research for the list, they sent a survey to all the Fortune 500 CEOs. One question asked: What is your company’s greatest challenge? “The rapid pace of technological change” topped the list, besting “cybersecurity” (a close second), as well as other traditionally popular responses, such as “increased regulation,” “shareholder activism,” and a “shortage of skilled labor.” Interestingly, 94 percent of those who responded said their companies would change more in the next five years than in the past five, Fortune reported.

New York is the state with the most companies on the list with 55, followed by Texas with 54 and California with 53.  There are 33 companies headquartered in Illinois, 23 in Ohio, 20 in Georgia, 19 in New Jersey and Virginia, 18 in Pennsylvania, 16 in Florida, and 10 in Wisconsin.

Walmart takes the top spot for the third year in a row and the eleventh time ever.Only three companies have held the number 1 spot on the Fortune 500 since its creation in 1955: General Motors, Exxon Mobil and Walmart, according to published reports.


Frontier CEO Is Half of Only “Sister Act” Among Fortune 1000; Company Opening Retail Stores

Until last year, most Connecticut residents were unfamiliar with Frontier Communications, even though the telecommunications company has operations in 28 states across the nation.  When the company purchased much of AT&T’s local operations in Connecticut in a $2 billion deal, they suddenly became a dominant player for residential and businesses customers in their home state.  But Frontier, despite its shaky hand-off from AT&T, was, and is, no small player on the national scene. On the latest list of the Fortune 1000 companies, Frontier ranks at #514.  They have hovered just above or below #500 in recent years.  The company is led by one of only 52 female CEO’s on the list, Maggie Wilderotter.  In fact, Wilderotter is half of the only sister act among the 52 – her sister is Campbell’s Soup CEO Denise Morrison, leading one of the nation’s best known brands, #315 on the Fortune 500.Frontier-logo-red

Wilderotter has served as Chief Executive Officer at Frontier since November 2004 and as Chairman of the Board since December 2005. She also served as President until April 2012.  The July/August 2013 issue of Chief Executive magazine described her as the “longest-tenured woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.”

Sister-CEOs-480x320Denise Morrison, the subject of the lead business story in the February 2, 2015 issue of TIME magazine, has led Campbell’s since 2011.  The magazine described family dinners when Denise, Maggie and their two younger sisters were growing up, that included discussions led by their father, an executive with AT&T, in which “he taught basic business skills through childhood activities like negotiating over chores and identifying the target market when selling Girl Scout cookies.”  He “thought it was important to prepare his daughters for a business world that was growing more open to women,” the magazine reported.

The lessons were well learned.  According to Catalyst, which tracks the number of women in corporate America, women currently hold 4.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.2 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions.  Wilderotter told TIME:  “We grew up in an environment where we would get the highest level of satisfaction from doing things people never expected us to pull off.”

Even as Frontier finds its footing among Connecticut consumers, the company’s has begun to roll out a retail store presence.  Frontier opened its second retail outlet in Connecticut, in Norwalk, last month.  The location at 2 Washington Street joins one in New London, at 200 State Street.  The company is actively pursuing plans to add two more retail stores in Connecticut by April.  Primarily geared toward residential customers, the stores are also expected to sell business products later this year.  Frontier currently has retail stores in 23 states.F09_Frontier_bf-e1418658074267-600x300

The CEO sisters, 13 months apart in age, “talk passionately about supporting women in the boardroom and the lessons they learnt from their parents which enabled them to be self-confident and have the belief that anything was possible coupled with a focus that getting a good education would give them the freedom and flexibility to do anything they wanted,” reported the business website Footdown in 2012.