The World's Most Admired Companies
By Paola Hjelt

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Yes, American companies still dominate when it comes to the leadership qualities executives around the world admire--but the competition is heating up, according to our latest global survey. This year 17 of the top 52 companies on our All-Star list are based outside the U.S.--that's three more than last year. Toyota Motor, the world's most profitable automaker and once again the highest-ranking non-U.S. company, moved into fifth place, up from eighth last year. Other tried-and-true global leaders include BMW (No. 11) and Sony (No. 15). Breaking new ground, however, is Samsung Electronics (No. 39), which is the first Korean company ever to make it into the top tier. Now the world's most profitable electronics company, Samsung is also the biggest producer of memory chips and the third-largest maker of mobile phones. Says the company's chairman, Kun-Hee Lee: "It's been a process of many years, starting in 1993, when for the first time we emphasized quality over quantity." For all the news and a complete industry-by-industry breakdown, see -- Paola Hjelt