TIME Companies

10 Brands That Will Disappear This Year

DirecTV satellite dishes are seen on an apartment roof in Los Angeles
DirecTV satellite dishes are seen on an apartment roof in Los Angeles, May 18, 2014. Jonathan Alcorn—Reuters

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This post is in partnership with 24/7 Wall Street. The article below was originally published on 247wallst.com.

Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 American brands that we predict will disappear before the end of the next year. This year’s list reflects the fact that mergers and acquisitions are at unprecedented levels. While some of the companies on this list may disappear because they continue to be at the bottom of their industry due to weak products and management, many may disappear because they are doing so well.

Retail continues to be one of the sectors with several troubled companies that may have to be sold to survive. The 24/7 Wall St. list includes Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) and Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO). Both specialty retailers are in highly competitive spaces. While Lululemon is battling Gap’s aggressive move into the yoga pants space, Aeropostale’s teen line of branded clothes is losing out to low-cost, fashion-forward brands like Forever 21 and H&M.

The consolidation of the broadband industry may also cause some companies to disappear. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) will likely be sold to Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA). DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) will likely be bought by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). These transactions are part of a much larger movement to become the exclusive providers of entertainment to American homes.

While telecom companies interested in increasing market share have the option to install a fiber network to take market share from cable, that comes at a great cost. Merger trends in the industry indicate it may be better to buy than to build. Comcast and AT&T certainly believe so. Having a larger market share could also allow these companies greater price leverage with content providers like Netflix and premium cable channels.

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Adoption of mobile and the massive size of some of Web 2.0 companies has also contributed to the list. Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was well positioned when it was able to market Farmville to Facebook’s users. But it is doing poorly after failing to come up with another hit, moving slowly on mobile and losing its special relationship with the social networking giant.

While Shutterfly Inc. (NASDAQ: SFLY) makes a tidy profit selling photos for greeting cards and calendars, it is also up against free photo sharing services such as Instagram and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). The photo printing site is currently looking for a buyer.

A number of the biggest food packaging companies are also in the market. Russell Stover is the third largest chocolate company in America. However, third place is miles behind the leaders, particularly Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY). Stover’s management has decided to give up operating on its own and has put itself on the market.

Hillshire Brands Co. (NYSE: HSH) will also almost certainly be sold this year. It has already signed an agreement with Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN). But Tyson did not get the prize without an expensive fight with Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NYSE: PPC), which gives a sense of the value of food companies to their rivals.

In 2012, we predicted that Research In Motion would disappear. Last year, the company changed its name to BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY). The company is on the list again this year under the new name. The company continues to be in serious trouble after being wildly successful for many years.

Reviewing last year’s list, we have had some winners and some bad calls. We called Nook and Leap Wireless correctly. Last month, Barnes & Noble announced it would spin off its Nook e-reader as sales continue to plunge. Leap Wireless was acquired by AT&T late last year.

We have yet to be proven right — or wrong — about the balance of the list. Revenues for Martha Stewart Living and Road & Track magazines continue to be weak, but they also remain in the business. Sales of Mitsubishi and Volvo are among the lowest in the auto industry, but you can still buy their cars. Similarly, LivingSocial continues to offer deals, WNBA to sell tickets and Olympus to make cameras. While these calls haven’t proven right yet, we have until the end of the year.

After five years of making predictions, we are proud of our record. Out of the 49 companies that have made our list, 24 have disappeared. Given that these brands were chosen from a universe of thousands, we think it’s an impressive record.

We continue to use the same methodology in deciding which brands will disappear. The major criteria include:

  1. Declining sales and losses;
  2. Disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business;
  3. Rising costs that are unlikely to be recouped through higher prices;
  4. Companies that are sold;
  5. Companies that go into bankruptcy;
  6. Companies that have lost the great majority of their customers; and
  7. Operations with withering market share.

Each brand on the list suffers from one or more of these problems. Each of the 10 will be gone, based on our definitions, within 18 months.

This is 24/7 Wall St.’s 10 brands that will disappear in 2014:

1. Lululemon

It is not hard to identify when the fortunes of the women’s athletic apparel company changed. On March 18, 2013, Lululemon recalled a large portion of its yoga pants because they were too sheer and as a result too revealing. The problems did not end there and resulted in management changes, revenue drop offs and a collapse of its share price.

The fallout cost CEO Christine Day her job in June 2013. Founder and Chairman Chip Wilson announced that he would step down in December of last year. Wilson has since returned as the potential leader of a buyout to take the company private. Wilson believes he can find a private equity backer. He will likely be able to buy Lululemon at a discount price, at least based on what its shares traded for at their peak.

Lululemon’s last quarterly financial statement shows the extent of the company’s troubles. Revenue at the previously fast growing company was up only slightly to $385 million from $346 million in the same period a year ago. However, net income collapsed from $47 million to $19 million. The stock is down 50% from its peak set at the start of June 2013.

2. DirecTV

AT&T’s plan to buy satellite TV giant DirecTV is an example of a broadband carrier trying to extend its reach into American households. AT&T’s U-verse fiber to the home broadband and TV product has only been modestly successful. It has 5.7 million customers to DirecTV’s 38 million.

The $49 billion deal has to clear federal regulation. Some members of Congress have sharply questioned AT&T’s management about the consumer benefits. While the two companies argued their marriage will lower consumers’ costs, some consumer groups believe that prices will go up and the new company will be able to control access to popular programming like NFL games.

AT&T has reason to fight for the deal and make sure it closes. Its attempted bid to add wireless broadband capacity via a buyout of T-Mobile was blocked by the government. Beyond that, increasing customers by more than six times makes the business case for the deal even more compelling.

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3. Hillshire Brands

Hillshire Brands, which markets Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, the top-selling products in their categories, has been on the radar of several food packagers. The company reached an agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods in May for $4.23 billion. But the agreement sparked interest in Hillshire and triggered a bidding war for the company among the largest food packagers in the country, Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride.

Hillshire accepted Tyson’s final offer of $8.5 billion including debt, a nearly $1 billion premium over Pilgrim’s offer and a 50% premium over its share price prior to the bidding war. To close the Tyson deal, Hillshire had to terminate the Pinnacle agreement. Tyson expects the Hillshire buyout to close before the end of its fiscal year, but that does not mean the fight is over. Pilgrim’s Pride may not go away and might still offer a higher bid.

4. Zynga

Zynga can be considered the single greatest social media failure among recent IPOs. The leading provider of games on Facebook has been unable to match the success of Farmville, its first hit. Facebook also ended its relationship with the gaming company in 2012, effectively limiting Zynga’s access to the social network’s 1 billion users and making it harder for the company to promote its games.

The company moved slowly into the mobile platform, and after it failed to create big hits of its own, it acquired popular titles such as Draw Something and Words With Friends. But new rivals like King Digital, maker of popular mobile game Candy Crush, continue to crowd the market. Similarly, traditional game companies like Electronic Arts have also begun to migrate their titles to mobile devices, challenging the social gaming company’s position.

The question is whether Zynga has enough demand for its products to support it as an independent public company. The company reported daily active users in the first quarter of 2014 were down nearly 50% to 28 million, compared to 52 million in the first quarter of 2013. Zynga lost $61 million in the first quarter of the year, against a profit of $4 million in the same period a year ago. Since early March, Zynga stock has dropped 45%, which while indicative of its troubles, also makes it a more attractive takeover target.

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5. Alaska Air

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) is one of the few remaining independent airlines in the United States that is not owned by one of the four larger carriers. Even larger airlines have been acquired: Northwest was bought by Delta, Continental merged with United and U.S. Airways joined with American Airlines. The recent consolidations in the industry have been successful, leading to significant cost cuts. Alaska Air, with its profits and customer service reputation, is the last real prize left.

There has been speculation that Delta might buy Alaska Air for its West Coast routes. The rumors have pushed Alaska Air shares higher.

Alaska Air is particularly strong in the busiest West Coast markets, especially in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Seattle. It has also begun to challenge carriers in East Coast markets, including several cities in Florida. Revenue and net income have risen steadily over the past five years. And Alaska Air often ranks highest in customer satisfaction among traditional carriers.

For the rest of the list, go to 24/7Wall St.

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America’s Worst Companies to Work For

A RadioShack Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures
RadioShack Corp. signage is displayed outside of a store in New York, U.S., on Sunday, March 2, 2014. RadioShack Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on March 4. Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

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This post is in partnership with 24/7 Wall Street. The article below was originally published on 247wallst.com.

Employees can now share their opinions about employers online. As a result, companies face new reputation risks that can affect their customers and shareholders.

For the third year, 24/7 Wall St. has identified the nation’s worst companies to work for. 24/7 Wall St. analyzed thousands of reviews from jobs and career website Glassdoor.com and selected the 11 companies with the lowest ratings.

Click here to see America’s worst companies to work for

Many of the companies on this list continue to be in the retail sector. As a result, complaints tended to focus on wages and hours worked. In many cases, these concerns focused on how difficult it can be for sales employees to meet targets that qualified them for commissions.

In other instances, employees complained more about how they thought a company was mishandling its customers. In the case of the Children’s Place, employees protested the pushy sales tactics. Jos. A. Bank employees wrote that the company’s changing product prices made it hard for them to make sales.

However, employees working in retail are not all unhappy. Scott Dobroski, associate director for corporate communication at Glassdoor.com, suggested that pay plays a big part. “We know that compensation is the number one factor job seekers consider when determining where to work.” Starbucks and Costco are examples of retail companies that offer benefits or pay above the industry average and that employees rate highly.

A significant share of employee grievances was directed at middle management. Workers at these companies were also highly likely to disapprove of their CEO. Chief executives at 10 of the 11 worst companies to work for received positive approval ratings from less than half of their employees. At six of these businesses, less than 30% of workers endorsed the CEO.

In the case of a number of these businesses, such as RadioShack and hhgregg, falling revenues, weak earnings and a sinking stock price may all contribute to lower employee morale and negative perceptions of executive performance.

However, negative employee opinions are not always a direct reflection of a company performance. Dillard’s has been a Wall Street darling. The company’s stock price has risen tenfold in the past five years.

To identify America’s worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. independently examined employee reviews on Glassdoor.com. To be considered, companies had to have a minimum of 300 reviews. Of the more than 500 companies with more than 300 reviews, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 11 publicly traded companies that received the worst scores — 2.4 or lower. Employee totals are from each company’s latest 10-K filing.

These are America’s worst companies to work for:

4. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
> Rating: 2.3
> Number of reviews: 317
> CEO approval rating: 24% (R. Neal Black)
> Employees: 6,469
> Industry: Apparel retail

Sales managers at Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. (NASDAQ: JOSB) frequently expressed frustration at the number of hours they were required to work. Sales workers often complained as well, with many citing a difficult commission structure and the company’s ever-changing product prices. While many employees said they enjoyed helping customers immensely, others felt customers were often demanding.

But while employees were unhappy with the company, Jos. A. Bank’s former shareholders had reason to be quite pleased. After months of bitter back-and-forth negotiations — which helped to drive up Jos. A. Bank’s share price — the clothing retailer was acquired by Men’s Wearhouse for $1.8 billion in March. The deal formally closed in mid-June. Unlike Jos. A. Bank employees, Men’s Warehouse’s staff has a higher view of their business, with employees awarding their company a 3.3 rating on Glassdoor.com.

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3. Frontier Communications
> Rating: 2.3
> Number of reviews: 306
> CEO approval rating: 27% (Maggie Wilderotter)
> Employees: 13,650
> Industry: Telecom services

Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) is one of the larger communications companies in the United States, known primarily for providing services to rural and smaller American towns and cities. While Frontier Communications has been downsizing its workforce in recent years –headcount dropped by roughly 1,000 between 2012 and 2013 — the company considers its relationship with its employees to be good. Its employees may disagree, however. A number of reviewers seem to think Frontier Communications is no longer on the forefront of communications technology. One current employee explained, “The reason you can’t hire is that no one wants to work on a dinosaur.”

Despite the challenges of providing services to small, remote populations, Frontier has sought to expand its control of the rural market in recent years. The company bought 4.8 million access lines from Verizon in 2009. The company’s revenue, however, declined from $5.2 billion in 2011 to $5.0 billion in 2012 and then to $4.8 billion last year.

2. Express Scripts
> Rating: 2.2
> Number of reviews: 646
> CEO approval rating: 28% (George Paz)
> Employees: 29,975
> Industry: Health care services

Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) is a leading pharmacy benefits manager, facilitating a wide range of pharmaceutical drug operations, including distribution and cost management. Poor work-life balance was one of the most common complaints among Glassdoor.com reviews. One former employee wrote, “work life balance is nonexistent, you are expected to be available to work all the time.” Less than a third of employees approved of Express Scripts’ CEO George Paz.

Unlike several other companies on this list, Express Scripts has grown considerably in recent years. After a merger with Medco Health Solutions in 2012, Some employees expected the company to conduct layoffs. Total employment declined only slightly, however.

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1. Books-A-Million
> Rating: 2.0
> Number of reviews: 302
> CEO approval rating: 22% (Terry Finley)
> Employees: 5,400
> Industry: Specialty stores

Books-A-Million Inc. (NASDAQ: BAMM) employed roughly 5,400 workers at more than 250 U.S. stores as of the beginning of this year, most of which were part-time. Like many retailers with unhappy employees, Books-A-Million institutes commission-based pay structures. Perhaps as a result, high stress and low pay were common complaints on Glassdoor.com. One employee wrote, “to[o] much stress for the pay, very low pay, low chance of promotion, hours are based on magazine and discount card sales. Even if you’re normally good, if you have a bad week you get cut.”

Just 14% of employees said they would recommend this company to a friend. Books-A-Million’s culture and value were rated just 1.8, the lowest among companies reviewed. CEO Terry Finley is also not popular, with just 22% thinking he is doing a good job. Over the past several years, the company has struggled to keep up with other large retail and online book sellers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

Read the rest of the list on 24/7 Wall Street.

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9 CEOs With the Absolute Worst Reputations

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A good manager understands the contribution of his or her employees. In return, managers often receive the respect of their workers. And indeed, more than two-thirds of American employees approve — even like — their companies’ chief executive officers.

Some CEOs, however, are not popular with employees. At nine major companies, 40% or fewer employees gave their CEOs a positive review. Sears Holdings’ CEO, Edward Lampert, received positive reviews from just 20% of Sears employees and from just 26% of Kmart employees, the lowest rated CEO. Based on 24/7 Wall St.’s independent review of employee ratings provided by Glassdoor, these nine CEOs have the worst reputations.

According to Glassdoor spokesperson Scott Dobroski, “While this list was compiled by independent research by 24/7 Wall St., it’s clear that some CEOs may want to take note that their own employees feel they can improve when it comes to leadership.” 24/7 Wall St. identified a number of factors that can hurt a CEO’s reputation within his or her own company. These include a CEO’s propensity for humiliating the company in public, poor stewardship of the company and a compensation package that employees perceive to be excessive.

A number of CEOs have failed to represent their companies adequately in public. On some occasions, a CEO’s public conduct was nothing more than a nuisance, while in other instances it became a liability for the company. Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries is an infamous example of the latter. His comments about the retailer’s target audience — “cool, good-looking people” with “washboard stomachs” — have created negative feelings. Both the press and general public heaped scorn on Jeffries for his blatant lack of sensitivity and the company’s customer discrimination.

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Many of the CEOs with poor reputations also ran their companies poorly. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns has repeatedly claimed the company’s 2010 buyout of Affiliated Computer Services would rekindle Xerox’s years of flagging fortunes. Instead, Xerox’s services business has faltered and revenue flattened. The acquisition’s once-prized assets have barely turned out to be valuable at all. Less than one-third of Xerox employees gave Burns a positive review.

One measure of stewardship is the evaluations employees gave their companies. Companies run by the CEOs on this list received scores of less than 3 out of 5 as an overall company rating, indicating workers were unhappy with their jobs and the companies. Employees of Sears Holdings’ Kmart stores gave their company just a 2.0 overall rating.

Dobroski noted that the relationship between overall rating and CEO approval was not a surprise to him. “The same is conversely true for the top [rated CEOs]. CEOs with high approval ratings tend to lead companies with higher than average satisfaction ratings as well.” According to Dobroski, this is because “leadership and the tone for the company going forward is generally set at the top and then trickles down to the rest of the company.”

Layoffs can also breed animosity toward management among employees. Since the beginning of 2013, GameStop has closed 500 stores. It is unlikely that company CEO J. Paul Raines is popular with current and former employees for that decision.

Other cuts can have a similarly negative effect on employee morale. Last year, Forever 21, run by CEO and founder Do Won Chang, cut employee benefits and moved a number of workers from full-time to part-time status. The company denied this was intended to limit some employees from working more than 30 hours per week — which would have required the retailer to provide workers with health coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Continued store cuts at Sears Holdings, which are central to the company’s plans to streamline operations, may also create negative feelings toward management among workers.

Extravagant pay can also lead employees to resent their CEOs. The three members of the Dillard family who run Dillard’s not only serve as management, but they also control the company’s board. The three brothers were paid a total of more than $58 million between 2011 and 2013. With a share price that has risen dramatically in recent years, from just a few dollars to nearly $100, investors may feel this money has been earned. It is unlikely that employees were as enthusiastic.

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The chief executives with the worst reputations may want to look at their more popular counterparts at other companies to determine how they can improve and win over their employees. According to Dobroski, well-liked executives focus on “clearly communicating their vision, including being transparent about where the company is going, how they’re going to get there, and how each employees plays a vital role in this.”

However, for many executives there is little incentive to improve those perceptions without direct intervention from the stockholders. Despite the company’s weak financial performance, and his own rash statements, Abercrombie & Fitch’s Jeffries only stepped down as chairman of the board after hedge fund Engaged Capital launched a campaign to split the roles of CEO and chairman. Sears Holdings’ Lampert not only serves in both these roles, but he also engineered the 2005 merger of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Kmart, widely considered to be a failure. Additionally, ESL Investments, Lampert’s investment fund, owned 48.5% of all shares outstanding as of March 19.

In order to identify the CEOs with the worst reputations, 24/7 Wall St. examined employee reviews at Glassdoor. To be considered, companies had to have a minimum of 500 reviews. Of the more than 225 companies with more than 500 comments, 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine CEOs with the lowest favorable reviews — 40% or lower. Positive reviews of Eddie Lampert, CEO of Sears Holdings and subsidiary Kmart, were both below 40%. Reviews of Michael Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch and subsidiary Hollister, were also both below 40%. Data on average wages by position were also from Glassdoor. Additionally, we reviewed financial statements from these companies, where available, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Employee counts are from companies’ own financial statements, as well as Yahoo! Finance. Estimates of employee counts of Forever 21, a privately held company, were taken from Forbes.

4. Ursula M. Burns
> Company: Xerox
> CEO rating: 30%
> Company rating: 2.74
> Years as CEO: 5
> No. of employees: 140,000

Ursula Burns made headlines in 2009 when she became the first African-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Burns has been exceptionally visible during her tenure, making frequent public appearances even as the company’s prospects have faltered. Burns pushed for the $6.4 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services that closed in 2010, claiming it would help the business. Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), though, has yet to see any substantial benefit from the deal. Late last year, the company called the police prior to announcing 168 layoffs at its Cary, N.C., facility, noting they “were expecting trouble.” It was the second round of a total of roughly 500 layoffs. This treatment of employees stands in contrast to how the board treats Burns, awarding her an average of $13 million a year between 2010 and 2012. One former employee, commenting on Glassdoor, said, “Most upper management have received salary increase over the last 6 years, but staff has not.”

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3. Do Won Chang
> Company: Forever 21
> CEO rating: 26%
> Company rating: 2.4
> Years as CEO: 30
> No. of employees: 30,000

Under founder and CEO Do Won Chang’s leadership, Forever 21 employees commented on Glassdoor that they receive minimum wage, often have to work late into the night and get very little time off. Chang has often received attention for his actions over the years. In August, a company memo sent to employees stated that salaries and benefits would be cut, which many suspected was done in order to avoid paying health benefits as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. He also decided to have a reference to a Bible passage, John 3:16, sewn to the bottom of the retailer’s carrying bags, which may not sit well with some of his employees and customers. Former employees on Glassdoor claim that they have been threatened with termination if they called in sick.

2. Bill Dillard II
> Company: Dillard’s
> CEO rating: 24%
> Company rating: 2.4
> Years as CEO: 16
> No. of employees: 38,900

Like many of the companies run by unpopular CEOs, Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) retail employees are paid poorly. According Glassdoor, a sales associate can expect to make $10.72 per hour. In contrast, the three family members of the clothing retailer who control the company, William Dillard II, the CEO, the company’s president, Alex Dillard, and its executive vice president, Mike Dillard, have paid themselves a total of $54 million over three years between 2010 and 2012. Bill Dillard II also did not win over employees when the company settled a class action disability discrimination lawsuit brought by former employees for $2 million in 2012. The company allegedly forced employees to reveal confidential medical information in order to be allowed sick days. Employees are under pressure to meet a sales quota that many of them have labeled as unrealistic. One current sales associate stated on Glassdoor, “Sales quotas are not entirely reasonable. Hard work doesn’t always pay off, especially if no one is in the store.”

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1. Edward S. Lampert
> Company: Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart)
> CEO rating: 20%
> Company rating: 2.5
> Years as CEO: 1
> No. of employees: 226,000

Lampert created Sears Holdings Corp. after coordinating the merger of retail giants Kmart and Sears, Roebuck & Co. nearly a decade ago. Since then, Lampert has served as chairman of the holding company, and recently took up the role of CEO as well. Lampert controls nearly half of all shares through his fund ESL Investments. Sears has continued to flounder under Lampert, who has repeatedly spun off its various assets and stores into independent entities, including Land’s End and Sears Automotive. Same-store sales, revenue and earnings have all continued to disappoint. A Businessweek profile of the company last year criticized Lampert for pitting divisions against one another. This, according to the article, has discouraged divisions from collaborating. According to one reviewer on Glassdoor, “communication from top levels is weak,” a common complaint for the CEOs with the worst reputations.

For the rest of the list, click here.

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Here Are the 15 Highest-Paying Companies in America

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A surprising No. 1

Median income for Americans was $34,750 in 2012. At some companies, however, the median is more than five times the national number. Based on figures provided by Glassdoor, 24/7 Wall St. examined the highest-paying companies in America.

The companies that pay their employees the most fall primarily into two industries: management consulting firms and tech companies. These companies employ graduates of elite schools who have skills that are in high demand and have high salary expectations to match.

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Consultancies can afford to pay high salaries. Generally, they are high-margin businesses, relying on a relatively small workforce to generate revenues. McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, two consultancies that pay big salaries, continue to draw interest from business school students as they compete with some of the nation’s largest public companies to recruit top performers. According to Forbes, 2013 revenue at McKinsey & Co. was $7.8 billion, generated by only 17,000 employees.

For tech companies, maintaining the talent pool requires paying very high salaries to bring in software developers and engineers. According to a study by Glassdoor published last year, the six companies that paid engineers the most included Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google, Twitter and Apple — all of which were among the top 15 highest-paying companies overall.

Many of the highest-paying companies in America are also listed in Glassdoor’s 2014 Best Places to Work. Most notably, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google are all among the top 15 paying companies, as well as among the top 10 places to work based on employee reviews. Apple, Salesforce.com, Chevron, Riverbed Technology and eBay are also among the 30 best-paying companies and the top 50 places to work.

Many of the companies paying the highest salaries are headquartered in some of the wealthiest metro areas in the country. Boston, the fifth-wealthiest metro area by median income, is home to Boston Consulting Group. San Francisco, the nation’s fourth-wealthiest such area, is home to four of the top payers, including both design and engineering software-maker Autodesk and social networking company Twitter.

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But no metro area is home to more top-paying companies than the San Jose area, where Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo! and Juniper Networks are all headquartered. San Jose topped the nation with a median household income of $79,841 in 2012.

To identify the companies paying employees the most, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Glassdoor on median annual salaries by company, as well as job reviews and average salaries for specific positions. We also examined Glassdoor’s 2014 study on the Best Places to Work. In addition, we reviewed 2012 median salaries by occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

These are the highest-paying companies in America:

1. Apogee Medical
> Median salary: $220,000
> Number of employees: 750 (no. of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants)
> Sector: Manufacturing
> Headquartered: Phoenix, Ariz.

Apogee Medical pays its employees a median annual salary of $220,000 — the best in the country. It is likely that the salaries are high because the company is the largest physician-owned hospitalist group in the country. Hospitalists — physicians who provide comprehensive care to hospitalized patients — are Apogee’s highest-paid employees, making an average of $215,000 per year. According to the company’s website, Apogee employs more than 750 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, all of which earn more than $100,000 a year. The company also offers a variety of opportunities to improve professionally, including its “Apogee University” program, which is available to all employees.

2. Boston Consulting Group
> Median salary: $143,750
> Number of employees: 6,200
> Sector: Business services
> Headquartered: Boston, Mass.

Top management consulting firms generally pay handsome salaries, and that is especially true at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which pays a median of $143,750 per year. This is well above the median annual salary $114,000 for a management consultant in Boston. The company, which employs nearly 5,000 consultants in 75 offices in 42 countries, consults top management at companies in virtually every sector. With nearly $4 billion in revenue in 2013, BCG is one of the richest management consultants in the world. In addition to a comparably lucrative salary, the firm offers employees a variety of benefits that most companies do not give, according to Workforce Magazine. BCG picks up the full tab on health care premiums for its employees, and it pays its consultants to engage in nonprofit work.

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3. Booz & Company
> Median salary: $140,000
> Number of employees: 3,000+
> Sector: Business services
> Headquartered: New York City, N.Y.

Booz & Company, a global management consulting firm, has been recognized around the world as one of the best firms both for its performance and its treatment of its employees. While the company did not fare well on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list this year, employees seem very pleased, citing numerous opportunities for advancement and competitive salaries on Glassdoor. While senior business consultants in New York City earn slightly more than $100,000 a year, they are paid some $140,000 a year at Booz & Co. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently completed a deal to purchase Booz & Co., although whether the business will continue as a standalone brand or adopt the PwC moniker has not yet been announced.

4. A.T. Kearney
> Median salary: $135,000
> Number of employees: 3,200
> Sector: Business services
> Headquartered: Chicago, Ill.

Management consulting firm A.T. Kearney was among the companies where the most business school graduates wanted to work, according to Fortune. One of the likely reasons for this is the pay — the median annual salary at the Chicago firm is $135,000. Comparably, the median annual salary for management consultants in Chicago is $110,365. Generous compensation, however, is not the company’s only draw. The company was also named as one of the Best Places for Diverse and Women Managers to Work by Diversity MBA magazine and Fortune’s “100 Top MBA Employers” in 2013.

MORE: States Where Children Are Struggling the Most to Read

5. Juniper Networks
> Median salary: $134,218
> Number of employees: 9,483
> Sector: Information technology
> Headquartered: Sunnyvale, CA

Unlike many of the best-paying companies in Silicon Valley, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is not a consumer electronics, software or social media company. The networking equipment company sells its services and products — including its Junos network operating system — to carriers, cable companies and Internet service providers, among others. Employees working in similar companies may often be well compensated — the median pay for computer network architects in 2012 was $91,000. Juniper is certainly no slouch where pay is concerned. Software and systems engineers at Juniper were paid well more than $100,000 per year.

6. Visa Inc.
> Median salary: $130,000 (tied for 6th highest)
> Number of employees: 9,500
> Sector: Finance
> Headquartered: Foster City, Calif.

Based on the relatively low employee satisfaction score on Glassdoor, many employees find Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) a difficult place to work. However, the company makes up for it by paying higher salaries than its two closest competitors. The average salary for a number of positions at Visa is well over $100,000 a year. By contrast, neither of Visa’s chief rivals, American Express and MasterCard, was listed among the top-paying companies by Glassdoor. Visa also offers perks to employees beyond the typical benefits package. Those include free group exercise classes and benefits to workers who commute via public transportation, walking or bike riding.

7. LinkedIn
> Median salary: $130,000 (tied for 6th highest)
> Number of employees: 5045
> Sector: Information technology
> Headquartered: Mountain View, Calif.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) is the highest-paying social network to work for, with salaries that outpace those of both Twitter and Facebook. The company pays software engineers and data scientists salaries that can frequently exceed $150,000 per year. Also, like its competitors, LinkedIn ranks as one of the top companies to work for, according to Glassdoor. Employees noted in their reviews that “this company has an amazing culture!” and that the company “truly cares about its employees, providing opportunities for professional growth and career transformation.”

8. Autodesk
> Median salary: $128,000
> Number of employees: 7,300
> Sector: Business services
> Headquartered: San Francisco, Calif.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) is one of the highest-paying companies in the area of software engineering. The company, which specializes in cloud servicing software, is located in San Francisco and had revenue of $2.31 billion in 2013. While the median salary of a software engineer in the United States was $87,100 in 2012, the average salary of a software engineer at Autodesk is $106,959 a year. In addition to generous health and retirement benefits, the company offers employees six weeks paid sabbaticals for every four years of employment, as well as the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. One of its unusual benefits is to offer employees assistance in the costs of adopting a child.

MORE: States Where Children Are Struggling the Most to Read

9. Walmart eCommerce
> Median salary: $125,000 (tied for 9th highest)
> Number of employees: 2,000,000 (1,500 in Walmart eCommerce)
> Sector: Retail
> Headquartered: San Bruno, CA

While Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has been frequently criticized for the low pay of its retail employees, the company is by no means afraid to pay for talent. The company continues to invest aggressively in its online business, with the hopes of catching up to online retail giant Amazon.com. To do so, the world’s largest retailer has had to pay for workers in software development, where the national median salary was $87,100 in 2012. This was far higher than the median earnings of the company’s retail sales workers of slightly less than $20,000 annually. And Walmart eCommerce doesn’t just pay these engineers the national median but far above it. At $125,000 per year, the pay of engineers at Walmart is comparable to pay at tech companies such as Google and Twitter.

10. Google
> Median salary: $125,000 (tied for 9th highest)
> Number of employees: 47,756
> Sector: Information technology
> Headquartered: Mountain View, Calif.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is one of the world’s most valuable companies as measured by market cap, and employees often reap the rewards. Software engineers, product managers and research scientists often earn salaries running well above $100,000 per year, according to Glassdoor. Google is well-known for not sparing any expense to recruit the best talent available. Employees receive a wide range of perks, including on-site medical care and its famous “20% time” — in which employees can work on whatever projects they want. An added perk for some employees is the opportunity to work with a number of the world’s leading thinkers, including chief economist Hal Varian and director of engineering Ray Kurzweil. It is hardly any wonder the company was ranked eighth on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work.

For the rest of the list, click here.

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