Which companies will still be thriving decades from now?

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Good morning.

Which companies will survive and thrive two decades from now? It’s a good question for both investors and job hunters to ask, especially considering that roughly half the companies on the Fortune 500 list in the year 2000 are no longer there today. 

Four years ago, Fortune teamed up with BCG to try and answer that question. The result is Fortune’s Future 50 list—the fourth edition of which is out this morning. The ranking is based on two pillars: a “top-down” market-based assessment of a company’s potential to generate future profits, and a “bottom-up” analysis that BCG developed using machine learning to select and weigh various factors based on their contributions to long-term growth.

Before I give this year’s winners, a word on results: Last year’s Future 50 portfolio provided triple the return of the S&P 500 over the 13 months since it was published, and significantly outperformed the Nasdaq as well. Martin Reeves, chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, told me the stellar results show that, for companies focused on the future, “it is not only possible to increase performance during a crisis, but that outperformance during a crisis can determine peacetime performance.”

Here are the top five:

1. ServiceNow
2. Veeva Systems
3. Atlassian
4. Workday
5. Splunk

You can find the full list here. By the way, Reeves also said his research on the list shows that companies with a strong sense of purpose are better poised for future growth. “It looks like one of the worst ways of making a lot of money is to try and make a lot of money,” he said.  “The best way is to try and do something meaningful.”

News below. And on the day that his company is releasing more details of its plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,  Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider tells how he went from climate-agnostic to climate activist in this essay for Fortune.  “This is a moment of truth for industry leaders,” he says.

Alan Murray



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Delisting law

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Black founders

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Spotify A.I.

Spotify, the music-streaming service, has filed a patent for a "Plagiarism Risk Detector and Interface" that allows it to judge how similar a song is to others in the system, based on elements such as chord sequences, melodic fragments and harmonies. This is based on scanning lead sheets (i.e. tablatures) rather than listening to already-recorded audio—the advantage being that songwriters could use the technology to make sure they aren’t accidentally ripping off other artists. Music Business Worldwide

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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