Best Companies: All-stars

Updated: Jun 11, 2014 2:41 PM UTC | Originally published: Jan 17, 2013
Photo: John R. Coughlin\/CNNMoney

Meet our All Stars...

It's no easy feat to be consistently rated highly by both and outside analysts and your own employees. But, 13 companies have made it to our Best Companies To Work For List every year since 1998. Even though their rankings may have varied widely over the last 14 years, here are the All Stars who made it to our Best Companies To Work For Hall of Fame.

Courtesy: Cisco


Cisco has seen volatile changes in its rankings over the years, dropping down a whopping 70 places last year amid major layoffs. However, Cisco's high average pay and long list of perks continue to secure its place on the list. The company is one of the nation's largest providers of on-site childcare and over 80% of the employees regularly work from home or on the road.

Courtesy: Four Seasons

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

With such a wide international network of hotels, long serving employees have the opportunity to see the world. They get to pick and choose hotels in countries they want to transfer to, creating endless possibilities for new experiences. The company also receives praise for its high pay, approachable executives and generous philanthropic efforts.

John R. Coughlin \/ CNNMoney

Goldman Sachs

Despite being the company that the press loves to hate, the Wall Street icon inspires fierce loyalty in its employees who are also helped by the generous pay. Not only has Goldman placed on our list every year since we launched it, it has continued to receive awards for diversity, leadership and LGBT equality.

Courtesy: Marriott International

Marriott International

Longtime CEO Bill Marriott recently stepped down after serving in that role for the last 40 years. Employees clearly take their cue for longevity from him, over 9500 of them have served with the company for over 20 years.

Courtesy: Microsoft

Microsoft Corp.

Despite the sentiment that the company isn't what it used to be, Microsoft continues to set standards for great work places. The company pioneered most of the perks that have become so common in Silicon Valley; currently it offers a wi-fi enabled shuttle service for employees, an organic spa and dry cleaning services.

Courtesy: Nordstrom


Apart from the regular discounts on store brands for employees, the department store also provides better-than-average hourly pay as well as the potential for large commissions. The discounts also increase around holidays and the start of the new season. Nordstrom also gets high marks for promoting employees from within employees and empowering them to use their own judgment in dealing with customers.

Courtesy: Publix


The supermarket chain holds the distinction of being the largest employee-owned company in the nation. Employees also receive generous stock grants and bonuses. They also regularly cite the friendly work culture, high regard for employee safety and flexible work schedule as the best part about working here.

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

At REI they're not just selling the lifestyle, they're living it. The outdoor gear and clothing company actively hires employees who have a passion for the great outdoors, rewarding them with big discounts on REI products and free equipment rental for items like skis and kayaks. The company has also taken several initiatives to protect the environment, pledging to be a climate neutral and zero-waste-to landfill company by 2020.

Courtesy: SAS


The software firm has consistently ranked in the top five of the Best Companies list since 2010, when it occupied the top spot. A large part of its attraction as a workplace comes from the "trust" culture promoted by Jim Goodnight, co-founder and only CEO in the company's 37-year history. This includes empowering employees to take responsibility for their own work without micromanagement, unlimited sick days and an annual budget set aside just for employee appreciation activities.


TDIndustries receives recognition for its "servant-leader" philosophy, where the employees, making management answerable to them rather than the other way around, elect the board of directors. The company is also 100% owned by the employees. And rather than hire contractors on a job-by-job basis, the company retains its workers as full time employees with complete benefits.

W.L. Gore & Associates

Gore's continued presence on the list owes much to its unique work culture, which focuses on having a minimal hierarchy and chain of command and instead having smaller laterally organized teams that work together on problem solving and innovation. Malcolm Gladwell even mentioned the Gore culture in his acclaimed bestseller The Tipping Point as an example of a successful allocation of human resources.

Courtesy: Wegmans

Wegmans Food Markets

Wegman's treats its employees just as well as its customers, having never laid anyone off in its 94-year history and regularly promoting healthier lifestyle programs amongst them. CEO Danny Wegman says the company's success comes from sticking to its principle of "doing the right thing," encouraging employees and managers to lead with their hearts rather than calculations. In this way, the company regularly avoids cuts in pay, benefits and product quality.

Courtesy: Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods founder John Mackey often talks about the "higher purpose" principle at the core of all the companies practices, which inspires trust and purpose in the employees. That's backed up by such egalitarian practices as capping the salary of top earners at 19 times the average hourly wage and with Mackey himself drawing only a $1 salary every year.