Study ranks McDonald’s and Wal-Mart among Top 10 companies for leadership

Philadelphia -- McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Stores are among the Top 20 companies in the world for leadership, taking the No. 6 and No. 8 spots respectively, according to an annual study by global management firm Hay Group. The two chains were the only retailers to make the list.

The seventh annual Best Companies for Leadership Study ranks the best companies for leadership around the globe and examines how those firms nurture talent and foster innovation in their ranks. This year, General Electric topped the list, followed by Procter & Gamble, IBM, Microsoft and Coca-Cola (the full list can be found at

According to Hay Group, the companies that make the list create workplace environments and processes that enable innovation to thrive. All of the Top 20 companies reported that their leaders regularly celebrate innovation, compared to just 49% of other companies.

In addition, 90% of the Top 20 companies reported that if individuals have an excellent idea, they can bypass the chain of command without the threat of negative consequences, compared to only 63% of other companies. And all of the Top 20 companies (versus 68% of all other companies) say they provide structured opportunities for younger employees to promote innovative ideas

The Best Companies for Leadership recognize innovation is key to their future growth and ability to survive in a fiercely competitive global market,” said Rick Lash, director in Hay Group's leadership and talent practice and co-leader of study.

The Top 20 Leadership companies consistently outperform their peers, according to Hay. Over a 10 year period, these companies produced a 5.39% shareholder return, compared with a 2.92% shareholder return generated by the S&P 500.

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