With the naming of a new CEO mid-year 2011, all eyes have been on Apple. The Cupertino, CA-based multinational debuted on this list at no. 6 in 2007, and has continued to hold a place above no. 40 each year. For 2012, landed the no. 8 spot.
Apple has gained from its blockbuster products. Demand for iPads and iPhones has spawned a market for downloadable apps that let users handle various tasks from shopping to playing games. And in turn, apps have fed consumers' demand for Apple's products. The company had $127.8 billion in sales during the 2011 calendar year, putting it neck-and-neck with Hewlett-Packard, the nation's largest tech company.
Competitor Samsung has quickly caught up, but the tide could turn just as quickly for the South Korean smartphone maker. In September 2012, a California jury ruled Samsung infringed Apple mobile phone patents. This puts pressure on Samsung to overhaul how it makes handsets, as the company faces the prospects of a ban on eight phones in the U.S. and hefty fines.
Our annual list of high achievers is a guide to the most vibrant part of corporate America and beyond.