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Robert Trigaux

They're not Apple (yet) but 7 Florida companies make Fortune's global list of "most admired"



Bobdutkowskytechdata2008josephgarnettjr Wake up and good morning. Apple may once again win Fortune magazine's crown as the "world's most admired company" but Florida at least had a few companies register -- sometimes not for the better -- on the annual list of corporate admiration. (Photo: CEO Bob Dutkowsky of Tech Data Corp. in Clearwater, by Joseph Garnett Jr. of the St. Petersburg Times.)

Okay, so not one single Florida company made the Top 50 most admired list. But that's hardly surprising given the top 10, after No. 1 Apple, are Google, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson,, Procter & Gamble, Toyota (ranked in a survey obviously done before all those recalls and congressional apologies), Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola.

Where seven Florida companies did make the list are in rankings of companies by industry.

Here are Florida's "most admired" -- meaning they ranked among the top 5 in their industries -- with some explanation (the links detail each company's relative strengths) on each:

* Tech Data, Clearwater: Ranked No. 4 (up from No. 6 last year) in the wholesale office equipment/electronics industry.

* Landstar System, Jacksonville: Ranked No. 5 (down from No. 1 last year) in the trucking, transportation, logistics industry.

* FPL Group,Juno Beach: The parent of Miami's Florida Power & Light ranked No. 1 (as it did last year) in the electric and gas utilities industry. Note:Area utilities Progress Energy and TECO Energy were not ranked.

Publixdangouldlandolakeskeriwiginton * Publix Super Markets, Lakeland: The grocery chain ranked No. 2 (same as last year) in the food and drug store industry behind CVS/Caremark. (Photo:Don Gould, a front service clerk at Publix in Land O' Lakes, by Keri Wiginton of the St. Petersburg Times.)

* Ryder System, Miami: Ranked No. 4 (deown from No. 3 last year) in the trucking, transportation, logistics industry.

* Darden Restaurants, Orlando: Restaurant parent of Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains ranked No. 4, same as last year) in the food services industry.

* Tupperware Brands, Orlando: Ranked No. 2 (same as last year), tied with Fortune Brands, in the home equipment, furnishings industry.

"Contenders" -- other Florida companies that ranked high but did not crack the top 5 in their industries -- include two other Tampa Bay companies. Jabil Circuit, St. Petersburg, ranked No. 10 (down from No. 9 last year) in the semiconductor industry, perhaps no big surprise when competing against the likes of Intel and Texas Instruments. And Wellcare Health Plans, Tampa, ranked No. 9 (unranked last year) in the insurance and managed care industry. Ten other Florida companies also were contenders. Find them here.

Fortune did categorize the world's "Least Admired" companies based on certain criteria.

Dillard's, Nortel Networks, Citigroup and Searswere repeat offenders in topics ranging from innovation, people management nd social responsibility to financial soundness, product quality and global competitiveness. Read the full Fortune report starting here.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:27am]


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