These 49 companies have been on the Fortune 500 every year since 1955. Here’s who they are
Since the very first edition of the Fortune 500 in 1955, over 2,200 companies have graced the list. Of these, a very small number—just 49—have been included every year.
They’ve been permanent fixtures on the Fortune 500—based on annual fiscal revenue—despite major disruptions to business over the decades. War, recessions, and the rise of the tech economy are just some of the hurdles they’ve overcome.
Many of the Fortune 500 regulars over the past 68 years sell products that are always in demand, whether it’s in the 1950s or the 2020s. PepsiCo, Kraft-Heinz, Coca Cola, and Kellogg—all established food and beverage companies—are just a few of them.
America’s energy giants, ExxonMobil and Chevron, are unsurprisingly the best performers among the old faces in this year’s rankings. Oil and gas companies had a resurgent 2021 after oil demand stalled in the early days of the pandemic, and high oil and gas prices during the Ukraine War has sent profits surging in the first few months of 2022. The companies’ positions in this year’s rankings reflect this: ExxonMobil leaped from No. 10 to No. 6 this year, while Chevron jumped from No. 27 to No. 16.
Defense and aerospace companies have also been a fixture since the Fortune 500’s launch, with Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin appearing every year. These were recently joined by Raytheon Technologies, formed by the 2020 merger between Raytheon and United Technologies, themselves also having been Fortune 500’s mainstays since the list’s inception.
In autos, GM has been in the Fortune 500 since the start, and largely unthreatened for decades. But like many regulars, the rise of newcomers is beginning to imperil their permanence. Record electric cars sales, led by Tesla, which gained 35 spots in the Fortune 500, is a big threat. In response, GM has sped up its push into electric cars.
Some Fortune 500 regulars have been hit by a rapidly evolving business landscape in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A couple examples of those buoyed by the pandemic are Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, which deployed lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. Others, like baby formula-manufacturer Abbott Laboratories, are already feeling the sting of supply chain constraints this year.
With supply chains scrambled from the pandemic and the Ukraine War, inflation on the rise, and disruptive tech companies emerging to challenge some of the Fortune 500’s fixtures, the lock the 49 regulars have on the Fortune 500 may be more perilous than ever. But in their 68 years on the list, these companies have seen it all, and many are prepared to weather almost anything.
Here are the 49 mainstays of the Fortune 500 over the past 68 years:
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