Fortune 500 Companies in 2000 versus 2017

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Technology has made today’s world unrecognizable from what it was at the turn of the century.  If companies do not adjust their business strategies, they will be left in the dust.  The above image proves just that: even Fortune 500 companies have fallen between 2000 and 2017.  Here’s a look at a few key ones in various industries we all know.

General Motors (GM)

General Motors was the top revenue earner in 2000, but the company has been unstable ever since.  The financial crisis of 2008 greatly impacted the company.  In fact, in June of 2009, General Motors went bankrupt.  The “Troubled Asset Relief Program”, a group run by the US Treasury to stabilize the country’s economy following the 2008 financial crisis, invested about $50 billion in GM.  General Motors has since settled, but has not fully recovered to the same success.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)

Walmart has increased its bottom-line tremendously since the turn of the century, becoming the largest U.S. retailer by revenue in 1990 and holding strong since.  Then, in 2002, the company hit the top of the Fortune 500 list for the first time by continuing to develop along with industry trends.  They’ve made strides to improve the green and healthy values of its store brands, as people become more health-conscious in recent years.  The company has also instituted an impactful online store, keeping up with digital retail giants like Amazon.

Exxon Mobil (XOM)

The Exxon Corporation and Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (Mobil) merged in 1998, creating the largest corporate merger of its time. Together they formed the Exxon Mobil Corporation,  which has consistently been on the Fortune 500 ever since.  As of 2015, Exxon Mobil reached a new milestone by ranking as the fifth-largest oil and gas company by revenue in the world.

Intl. Business Machines (IBM)

IBM earned approximately $79.9 billion in 2017, setting the ranking at 32nd on the Fortune 500 list.  IBM has come to the forefront of artificial intelligence, with Watson, its AI program, gaining national attention in 2011.  IBM has partnered with many major companies in this endeavor, including Apple, Twitter, and Facebook.  IBM’s technology is ahead of the curve and the company is expected to grow in the coming years.

Citigroup (C)

Citigroup ranked 30th on the Fortune 500 list in 2017, citing $82 billion in revenue, which was similar earnings in 2000.  During the financial crisis of 2008, Citigroup was heavily affected, and by November of that year was insolvent.  The company responded by laying off more than 100,000 employees.  In the ensuing months, the government arranged a buy-back to the tune of $306 billion in loans and securities, as well as $20 billion directly invested in the company. It wasn’t until 2010 that Citigroup achieved its first profitable year since the financial crisis.

Apple (AAPL)

Apple, formed in 1976, has seen exponential growth up to today.  In 2000, Apple earned slightly over $6 billion in revenue, ranking 285th on the Fortune 500 list.  In 2007, Apple released the first iPhone, as the company shifted its focus from computers and into personal devices.  Since then, iPhones have become nearly ubiquitous in America, and Apple’s revenues have grown as a result.  The company earned a record-high $233 billion in 2015, following the release of the iPhone 6 and 6s.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

UnitedHealth Group earned a mere $19.5 billion in 2000, placing them at 86th on the Fortune 500 list.  In 2002, the company acquired AmeriChoice and merged it under the Medicaid program.  The company has since made efforts to implement technology, such as electronic health records, to make systems more efficient across the industry. In 2015, UnitedHealth’s Optum joined with MedExpress, an urgent care office and later in 2016 created a partnership with CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens.

Comparing Fortune 500 companies of 2000 to 2017 shows just how quickly the world and businesses have changed.

In 2000, Apple did not even crack the top 100 revenue earners.  Since then, Apple has taken the tech industry by storm to break into the number 3 spot on the Fortune 500 list.  This proves how quickly technology has progressed, and how important it is for companies to get ahead of the tech curve.