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World's 20 most popular employers

Last updated on: September 30, 2010 20:40 IST

Image: Google's Mountain View campus.

Google has emerged as the world's most attractive employer, but four global auditing giants are posing a challenge to the technology giant, says a survey by employer branding company Universum.

According to Universum's -- The world's most attractive employers 2010 -- index, Google retains its number one position for the second consecutive year.

"We are witnessing the auditing firms and FMCG companies reconquering their talent group after a brief love affair with the IT industry," Universum chief executive officer Michal Kalinowski said.

The survey took into consideration responses of close to 130,000 career seekers with a business or engineering background. Here is a look at the world's 20 most attractive employers. Read on . . . 

1. Google

In the summer of 1995, Larry Page and Sergey Brin met for the first time at Stanford. Larry, 22, a University of Michigan graduate, was considering the school, and Sergey, 21, was assigned to show him around.

According to some accounts, they disagreed on almost everything during this first meeting.

In 1996, Page and Brin, now Stanford computer science grad students, began collaborating on a search engine called BackRub. It operated on Stanford servers for more than a year -- eventually taking up too much bandwidth to suit the university.

Next year, Page and Brin decided that the BackRub search engine needed a new name. After some brainstorming, they went with Google -- a play on the word 'googol,' a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. The use of the term reflected their mission to organise a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.

In August 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote a check for $100,000 to an entity that dd not exist: a company called Google Inc.

In September, Google set up workspace in a garage at 232 Santa Margarita, Menlo Park.

Google files for incorporation in California on September 4. Shortly thereafter, Page and Brin open a bank account in the newly-established company's name and deposited Andy Bechtolsheim's check.

Craig Silverstein a Stanford graduate was Google's first employee.

In December, PC Magazine recognised Google as the search engine of choice in the Top 100 Web Sites for 1998.

Google is now headquartered at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California.

Click NEXT to know more about other attractive employers . . .

World's 20 most popular employers


KPMG is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu  and Ernst & Young.

Its global headquarters are located in Amstelveen, the Netherlands. It has emerged as the second most attractive employer in the world.

KPMG employs over 136,500 people in a global network of professional services firms spanning over 140 countries.

It has three lines of services: audit, tax, and advisory.

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World's 20 most popular employers

3. Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young, the third most attractive employer in the world, is the result of a series of mergers of ancestor organisations. The oldest originating partnership was founded in 1849 in England as Harding & Pullein.

In 1989, the number four (accounting firm) merged with the then number five, Arthur Young, on a global basis to create Ernst & Young.

In October 1997, EY announced plans to merge its global practices with KPMG to create the largest professional services organisation in the world.

In 2002, EY merged with many of the ex-Arthur Andersen practices around the world, although not those in the USA, UK, China or the Netherlands.

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World's 20 most popular employers

Image: Pricewaterhouse Coopers Tower, Auckland, New Zealand.

4. PricewaterhouseCoopers

The search giant is followed by PricewaterhouseCoopers where most B-Schools students want to work.

"The employers that feature in this Top 50 all have one thing in common: they successfully appeal to current and future talent, and they are aware of how scarce talent is," Universum said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has been created by the merger of two firms --- Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand -- each with historical roots going back some 150 years.

In 1849, Samuel Lowell Price set up a business in London, and in 1854, William Cooper established his own practice in the city, which seven years later becomes Cooper Brothers.

In 1982, PriceWaterhouse World Firm was formed, and in 1990 Coopers & Lybrand merged with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in a number of countries around the world.

Finally, in 1998 following a worldwide merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PricewaterhouseCoopers was born.

PwC was named the 2009 Top Company for Global Diversity by DiversityInc. While PwC was a top 10 winner in the 11th Annual Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise Award, PwC US was named one of Fortune's '100 Best Companies to Work For' in 2009.

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World's 20 most popular employers

5. Deloitte

Deloitte has approximately 165,000 staff in 140 countries, delivering audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services through its member firms. It is the world's fifth mots attractive employer.

Its global headquarters are located in New York City, New York. European headquarters are located in London.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is a Swiss Verein, a membership organization under the Swiss Civil Code whereby each member firm is a separate and independent legal entity.

While the full name of the Swiss verein is Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, in 1989 it initially branded itself Deloitte & Touche and then simply Deloitte.

Deloitte offers its staff a variety of career models to choose from based on their preferences, geographic location and business need.

The organisation is consistently rated by Fortune as one of their '100 Best Companies To Work For'.

In 2007 and 2009, Deloitte was rated the number one place to launch your career by BusinessWeek.

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World's 20 most popular employers

Image: Procter and Gamble's headquarter in Cincinnati, Ohio.

6. Procter and Gamble

William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, immigrants from England and Ireland, respectively, who had settled earlier in Cincinnati, met as they both married sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris.

Alexander Norris, their father-in law, called a meeting in which he persuaded his new sons-in-law to become business partners. On October 31, 1837, as a result of the suggestion, Procter & Gamble was born.

As of 2008, P&G is the 8th largest corporation in the world by market capitalisation and 14th largest US company by profit.

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World's 20 most popular employers

7. Microsoft

Irrespective of ranks, the top 50 global employers for business and engineering students are very similar, showing strong employer brands transcend many skill and industry groups.

While engineering graduates preferred Microsoft as their second choice, for business students, Microsoft is the third choice. The software giant is the world's seventh most attractive employer.

Following the launch of the Altair 8800 (a computer), William Henry Gates III, (Bill Gates) called the developers of the new microcomputer, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, offering to demonstrate an implementation of the BASIC programming language for the system.

After the demonstration, MITS agreed to distribute Altair BASIC. Gates left Harvard University, moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where MITS was located, and founded Microsoft there.

The company's first international office was founded on November 1, 1978, in Japan, titled ASCII Microsoft (now called Microsoft Japan).

On January 1, 1979, the company moved from Albuquerque to a new home in Bellevue, Washington. Steve Ballmer joined the company on June 11, 1980, and later succeeded Bill Gates as CEO.

On August 12, 1981 IBM introduced its personal computer with Microsoft's 16-bit operating system, MS-DOS 1.0. on May 22, 1990 Microsoft launched Windows 3.0. 

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World's 20 most popular employers

Photographs: Reuters

8. The Coca-Cola company

The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage company, manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups.

The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in 1886.

The Coca-Cola formula and brand was bought in 1889 by Asa Candler who incorporated The Coca-Cola Company in 1892.

Muhtar Kent is the CEO and president of the company.

Besides the Coca-Cola beverage, Coca-Cola currently offers more than 400 brands in over 200 countries or territories.

As of July 2010, the company has 92,800 employees.

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World's 20 most popular employers

9. J P Morgan

J P Morgan is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co, a global financial services firm with assets of $2.0 trillion.

John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 - March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time.

He created the first billion dollar corporation by buying out industrialist Andre Carnegie and combining some 33 companies to form United States Steel.

During the financial panoc of 1907, J P Morgan saved several trust companies and a leading brokerage house from insolvency, bailed out New York City, and bailed out New York Stock Exchange.

And in 2008, J P Morgan played an important role in helping manage the credit crisis through the acquisition of Bear Stearns.

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World's 20 most popular employers

Image: A man walks past the Goldman Sachs headquarters building in New York.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

10. Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by German immigrant Marcus Goldman. In 1882, Goldman's son-in-law Samuel Sachs joined the firm which prompted the name change to Goldman Sachs.

The company made a name for itself pioneering the use of commercial paper for entrepreneurs and was invited to join the New York Stock Exchange in 1896.

In the early 20th century, Goldman was a player in establishing the initial public offering market.

It managed one of the largest IPOs to date, that of Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1906.

It also became one of the first companies to heavily recruit those with MBA degrees from leading business schools, a practice that still continues today.

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World's 20 most popular employers

Image: L'Oreal cosmetic and beauty products are seen in a hairdresser shop in Nice, southern France (Inset)
Photographs: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

11. L'Oreal

The L'Oreal Group is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company.

The company has its registered office in Paris and is headquartered in the Paris suburb of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine.

The company manufactures hair colour, skin care, sun protection, make-up, perfumes and the like and is the top nanotechnology patent-holder in the United States.

The company's key people are Jean-Paul Agon (CEO), Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones (chairman), Liliane Bettencourt (non-executive director and major shareholder).

It has about 68,000 employees.

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World's 20 most popular employers

Image: The BMW headquarter in Munich, Germany.

12. BMW

After World War I, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (English: Bavarian Motor Works or BMW) was forced to cease aircraft (engine) production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty.

The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928-29.

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World's 20 most popular employers

13. Sony

In late 1945, after World War II, Masaru Ibuka started a radio repair shop in a bombed-damaged department store building in Nihonbashi of Tokyo.

The next year, he was joined by his colleague Akio Morita and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo which translates in English to Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. The company built Japan's first tape recorder called the Type-G.

When Tokyo Tsushin was looking for a romanised name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. But Japanese railway company Tokyo Kyuko was also known as TKK.

The company occasionally used the acronym 'Totsuko' in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name.

Finally they settled for 'Sony' - a mix of two words - the Latin word Sonus which is the root of 'sonic' and 'sound' and the other was 'sonny', a familiar term used in 1950s America to call a boy.

At that time it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters instead of kanji to spell its name and the move was not without opposition.

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World's 20 most popular employers

14. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a global Amercian pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods manufacturer founded in 1886.

The company is headquarterd in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Its  key person is William C Weldon, chairman and CEO.

As of 2009, the company had 118,700 employees.

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World's 20 most popular employers

15. The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group or BCG, is a global management consulting firm with offices in 40 countries.

It is one of only 3 companies to appear in the top 15 of Fortune Magazine 's 'Best Companies to Work For' report for 5 consecutive years.

The company was formed when Bruce D Henderson, a Harvard Business School alumnus, left Arthur D Little to become head of a new management consulting division of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company.

The company's key person is Hans-Paul Burkner, president and CEO.

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World's 20 most popular employers

16. McKinsey & Company

Ranked number one for six consecutive years in the list of top consulting firms, McKinsey & Company has been a top employer for MBA graduates since 1996.

James O. McKinsey & Company was founded in Chicago in 1926 by James O ('Mac') McKinsey, an accounting professor at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, who pioneered budgeting as a management tool.

Marshall Field's became a client in 1935, and soon convinced McKinsey to leave the firm and become its CEO; however, he died unexpectedly of pneumonia in 1937.

Marvin Bower, who succeeded McKinsey resurrected the New York office and renamed it McKinsey & Company.

McKinsey has produced more CEOs than any other company and is referred to by Fortune magazine as 'the best CEO launch pad'.

More than 70 past and present CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are former McKinsey employees.

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World's 20 most popular employers

17. Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm.

Headquartered in New York City, it serves corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals.

Morgan Stanley operates in 36 countries with over 600 offices and a workforce of over 60,000.

The corporation was formed by J.P. Morgan & Co. employees Henry S Morgan (grandson of J.P. Morgan), Harold Stanley and others on September 16, 1935.

The company found itself amid a management crisis in the late 1990s that resulted in a loss of a number of the firm's top talent.

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World's 20 most popular employers

Image: Steve Jobs.
Photographs: Reuters

18. Apple

Apple Inc designs and manufactures consumer electronics and software products.

The company's best-known hardware products include Macintosh computers, the iPod and the iPhone.

Incorporated on January 3, 1977, the company was established by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

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World's 20 most popular employers

19. IBM

Nicknamed 'Big Blue' for its official corporate colour, IBM has been well known through most of its recent history as the world's largest computer company and systems integrator.

With over 398,455 employees worldwide, IBM is the largest and most profitable information technology employer in the world. It holds more patents than any other US based technology company and has eight research laboratories worldwide.

Its key people are Samuel J Palmisano (chairman, president and chief executive officer)

Mark Loughridge (senior vice president and chief financial officer).

The company has scientists, engineers, consultants, and sales professionals in over 170 countries, and its scientists have earned five Nobel Prizes.

IBM was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith, in Broome County, New York.

It was incorporated as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation on June 16, 1911, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916.

CTR's Canadian and later South American subsidiary was named International Business Machines in 1917, and the whole company took this name in 1924.

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World's 20 most popular employers

20. Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank AG is an international bank headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.

Deutsche Bank has offices in major financial centers, including New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow, Amsterdam, Toronto, S o Paulo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney.

The bank employs more than 80,000 people in 72 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets.

Its key people are Josef Ackermann (CEO and chairman of the management board), Clemens B rsig (chairman of the supervisory board).