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Disney Is Named the Company Americans Want to Work For Most

Anna and Elsa star in the new Frozen Ever After attraction at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park.Anna and Elsa star in the new Frozen Ever After attraction at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park.
Anna and Elsa star in the new Frozen Ever After attraction at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park.Photograph by Mark Ashman — Getty Images

The Fortune 500 is chock full of enviable workplaces, including tech behemoths Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), and Google parent Alphabet (GOOD) whose innovative cultures and high-profile projects are much sought-after by workers worldwide.

But in a new consumer confidence poll conducted for Fortune by SurveyMonkey, Walt Disney Co. beat out those three tech giants.

SurveyMonkey asked some 10,000 adults in the U.S. to pick their favored brands from the top 100 companies of the Fortune 500. Respondents were asked about corporate reputations, trust, influence, and global impact. When asked which company they would most want to work for, respondents chose the 93-year old entertainment giant.

Walt Disney, No. 53 on this year’s Fortune 500, secured the top spot, while Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple took second, third, and fourth place, respectively. Perhaps equally surprising is Amazon’s placement near the top, considering last year’s reporting by the New York Times that characterized it as having a hostile work environment.

Disney’s title as most coveted employer is especially notable because the company was recently called out by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for being what he characterized as a decidedly undesirable place to work.

At a rally in Anaheim, Calif. in late May, the Vermont senator told the crowd that the company “pays its workers [at the park] so low that many are forced to live in motels because they can’t afford a decent place to live.” He contrasted that with Disney’s “record-breaking profit of nearly $3 billion last quarter.”

The Democratic candidate for president also attacked the company for last year laying off 250 technology workers after requiring some of them to train their replacements: foreign employees hired on temporary H-1B visas for highly skilled technical workers through an Indian outsourcing firm.

He contrasted the layoffs against Disney CEO Bob Iger’s $46.5 million pay package and cited Disney as “an example of what we are talking about when we talk about a rigged economy.”

Iger quickly fired back at the long-time politician in a private Facebook message, asking him what he’d personally done for the U.S. economy. “To Bernie Sanders: We created 11,000 new jobs at Disneyland in the past decade, and our company has created 18,000 in the U.S. in the last five years. How many jobs have you created? What have you contributed to the US economy?” And Disney said publicly that Sanders “clearly doesn’t have his fact right” because Disneyland “generates more than $5.7 billion annually for the local economy.”

Interest in working for Disney may have something to do with how well the company performed on other portions of the same survey. Respondents considered Disney the second-most trustworthy of the 100 companies, they ranked it fifth for having the most positive global impact, and it landed in fourth place among companies that “care the most about you.” And perhaps readers think working at Disney would provide for good job security. (The IT workers it laid off last year would no doubt disagree). When asked which company they thought would be around in 100 years, Disney again came in at No. 1.

10 Most Desired Employers
Source: SurveyMonkey

  1. Disney
  2. Google (Alphabet)
  3. Amazon
  4. Apple
  5. Twenty-First Century Fox
  6. Delta Air Lines
  7. Microsoft
  8. Nike
  9. Boeing
  10. Lockheed Martin

Absent from this list is Facebook (FB), because it falls at No. 157 on the new Fortune 500 ranking and only companies in the top 100 were included on the survey.

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