1 (Previous rank: 1)
H. Lee Scott Jr.
702 S.W. Eighth St.
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716
Retaining its spot as the largest company in the world, the retail giant spent the last year making strides toward becoming friendlier to its workers and the environment. Long derided for the limited health-care packages offered to its employees, the company focused on expanding its options. As of January, 93.7% of Wal-Mart’s U.S. employees had some form of health care, up from 90.4% last year.
On the sustainability front, the retailer sold 145 million energy-efficient light bulbs in 15 months and joined forces with the Clinton Climate Initiative. Some say it isn’t enough; a union-backed ad campaign by WakeUpWalMart.com at the end of 2007 targeted the quality of the company’s imported products.
Still far from pleasing all its critics, Wal-Mart did please its shoppers: Its renewed focus on lower prices delivered a stellar second half, bolstering total revenue for the year to $379 billion. –By You Li and Shuchi Saraswat
From the July 21, 2008 issue