ARM is Britain’s Most Admired Company 2016
The results of the 26th annual survey of Britain’s Most Admired Companies (BMAC), conducted by Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett, and Management Today, were announced in the December issue of the magazine.
ARM began in 1990 as a venture between Acorn, Apple and VSLI. ARM designs high-performance, low-power consumption microprocessors used in mobile phones and was listed on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in 1998. In 2016, devices with ARM designs at their heart are used daily by 80% of the global population.
ARM CEO, Simon Segars, said: “ARM has enjoyed immense success since we were founded in 1990 and next year we will celebrate 100 billion ARM-based chips, deployed in devices from sensors to supercomputers. Being named Britain's Most Admired Company for 2016 is a real honour and we are proud that the vision of our founders and the hard work of all of our people, past and present, has been recognised in this way.”
Research for this year's survey was carried out after the referendum on 23 June. Mike Brown, Professor of Corporate Reputation and Strategy, explained: “This year's Brexit vote left us with the challenge of conducting the survey before and after the vote in June. We felt this was inappropriate and therefore we made the decision to conduct the research exclusively after the Brexit results had been announced.”
This year's BMAC results are therefore also notable for being the first comprehensive public analysis of the mood of UK business after the decision to leave the EU was made.
Only three companies - Unilever, Johnson Matthey and Berkeley Group - retained their top spots from last year. Unilever, who took first place last year, are this year’s second place company and the most consistently high performer in Most Admired history. Third and fourth place went to Royal Dutch Shell and Berkeley Group.
In addition, Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of EasyJet, was voted the most admired leader in Britain – retaining her title from 2015 with 14.1% of votes from participants in the research.
The Britain’s Most Admired Companies survey is the only academic study of its kind in the UK, measuring companies’ reputational success based on the perceptions of its peers: 200 business leaders and city analysts in Britain. The research is published every year in Management Today.
Professor Mike Brown said: “Like individuals, companies have personalities and reputations. A company’s reputation is based on how people think and feel about a company. What better way to access ‘Britain’s Most Admired Company’ than to ask a peer group of senior executives and analysts about their thoughts and feelings of a company. The survey attempts to capture the tacit knowledge of these two key constituent groups whose jobs rely on their knowing about other companies within the industry sector.”
This year also sees a substantive change in the Most Admired methodology, with the addition of three new criteria to the existing nine by which each company is evaluated.
Professor Brown explained: “After 25 years of incorporating minor modifications along the way, we have taken the opportunity this year to introduce more major changes. When conducting our preparatory work, we considered if there were any intangible areas that the current nine characteristics were not covering. We found significant literature among the databases to consider incorporating three additional characteristics: Inspirational Leadership, Company Competitiveness and Corporate Governance.”
The Britain’s Most Admired Companies survey was first published in The Economist in 1990. In 1994 it was published in Management Today for the first time.
The awards are a peer review of corporate reputation. Each year, Professor Brown canvasses the opinions of 200 of the UK’s largest companies across 25 sectors. Participants are asked to rate their sector rivals on a range of criteria, including the quality of its marketing, its financial performance and the strength of its management team. Respondents are also asked to name their most admired leader.