By Alan Murray and Geoffrey Smith
October 19, 2017

Good morning.

At the Fortune CEO Initiative last month, we had a lively conversation about the financial pressures public companies face to perform in the short term—often at the expense of the long term. It’s a well-known lament among CEOs.

But what about those rare companies that manage to rise above the pressures, and keep their sights firmly focused on the future? Today, Fortune celebrates those companies, by publishing its first annual list of The Future 50. Created in conjunction with BCG’s Henderson Institute, which spent two years researching the topic, the list is based on a screen of 2,300 publicly traded companies, which were scored based on two equally-weighted measures: First, a calculation of the market’s estimate of the company’s future potential (the proportion of its market value not attributable to current earnings and dividends); and second, a calculation of the company’s capacity for long-term growth, based on 14 factors that BCG found correlated with long-term performance. You can read more about the methodology, which included an AI scan of 70,000 10-K reports, here.

Enough with the windup. The top ten big companies (market value over $20 billion) on The Future 50 are:

  1. Salesforce
  2. Tesla
  3. Facebook
  4. Netflix
  5. Intuitive Surgical
  6. VMWare
  7. Edward Lifesciences
  8. Intuit
  9. Activision Blizzard
  10. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

You can see the other companies on the list here. Spoiler alert: it includes Alphabet and Amazon… but not Apple. As for companies with less than $20 billion in market cap (at the time of the screen), top of the list were Veeva, Workday, Grubhub, FireEye, and Zillow. We think there are lessons here for all of today’s companies, which feel the constant pressure to reinvent themselves. To learn those lessons, you might start by reading Adam Lashinsky’s excellent story on our number one, Salesforce, and its CEO (and Fortune magazine’s November cover boy), Marc Benioff.

By the way, number 18 on the smaller company list is ServiceNow, whose CEO John Donahoe—former CEO of eBay—was in to visit this week. In keeping with the goals of the CEO Initiative, he says he’s working on transforming his rapidly-growing enterprise software firm into a purpose-driven company—more evidence of the steadily surging trend.

News below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

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