• 13 June 2024

Global Giants 2024: Exploring the World’s Top 10 Largest Companies

Jan 23, 2024

Welcome to “Global Giants 2024,” where we take a closer look at the world’s top 10 largest companies. These corporate powerhouses have made significant impacts on industries, economies, and our daily lives. From cutting-edge technology to pharmaceutical innovations, these companies shape the global landscape. Join us on this exploration as we delve into their histories, key achievements, and the influence they wield in the business world.

Apple (Technology)

Pic Credit-CNN
  • Apple Inc. is a multinational tech company known for consumer electronics, software, and services.
  • Dominates the tech sector with iconic products like iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and services like Apple Music.
  • World’s largest company by market capitalization as of March 2023.
  • Largest tech company by revenue in 2022, reaching $394.3 billion.
  • A significant player in the Big Five American IT companies (Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft).
  • Established as Apple Computer Company in 1976.
  • Growth with successful products: Apple II, Lisa, Macintosh.
  • Challenges in the 1980s were overcome under Steve Jobs’ leadership.
  • The acquisition of NeXT in 1997 marked Jobs’ return and led to successful products like iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
  • Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011.
  • Continued innovation and product expansion under Cook’s leadership.
  • Reached $1 trillion valuation in 2018, $2 trillion in 2020, and $3 trillion in January 2022.
  • Market valuation surpassed $3 trillion as of June 2023.
  • Maintained strong brand loyalty despite criticism for labor practices, environmental concerns, and business ethics.
  • Consistently ranked as one of the world’s most valuable brands.
  • Name inspired by Steve Jobs’ visit to an apple farm.
  • Logo evolution from Newton to rainbow-colored silhouette and monochromatic logos.
  • Successful advertising campaigns with iconic slogans.
  • The first Apple Stores opened in 2001; initially met with skepticism but became highly successful.
  • Redesign in 2016 focused on open spaces and enhanced customer interaction.
  • Fined €1.1 billion in 2020 for collusion with wholesalers.
  • Legal battles with Epic Games and support from Facebook against App Tracking Transparency.
  • Pro-privacy stance but controversies over law enforcement assistance and biometric technology.
  • Introduced privacy-conscious features like encryption and differential privacy.
  • App Tracking Transparency feature for user data control.

Microsoft (Technology)

  • American multinational tech company based in Redmond, Washington.
  • Known for Windows, Microsoft 365, Edge, Xbox, and Surface devices.
  • Ranked 14th in the 2022 Fortune 500.
  • Largest software maker globally by revenue.
  • Part of the Big Five American IT companies.
  • Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975.
  • Dominated PC OS market with MS-DOS and Windows.
  • Diversified through strategic acquisitions.
  • Acquired Activision Blizzard ($68.7B), LinkedIn ($26.2B), Skype ($8.5B)
  • Dominant in PC OS and office software markets.
  • The product range includes software, search, cloud, and development tools.
  • CEOs: Gates, Ballmer, Nadella.
  • Nadella shifted focus to cloud computing.
  • Microsoft Gaming division was established in 2022.
  • Third-largest gaming company by revenue in 2023.
  • Became the most valuable publicly traded company in 2018.
  • Reached a trillion-dollar market cap in 2019.
  • Third-highest global brand valuation in 2023.
  • Criticized for monopolistic practices and software issues.
  • Diverse Board of Directors.
  • CEO: Satya Nadella.
  • Financial growth and international subsidiaries.
  • Engaged in marketing campaigns and legal issues.
  • COVID-19 pandemic support.
  • Monitored cyberattacks during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Commitment to sustainability.
  • Carbon negative strategy by 2030.
  • Use of renewable energy since 2014.
  • Microsoft Redmond campus in Washington.
  • Flagship stores, e.g., Fifth Avenue in NYC.
  • Logo changes over the years.
  • The current logo (since 2012) reflects a modern interface.
  • Sponsor of Finland’s basketball team.
  • Sponsorship in racing, e.g., Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT.
  • Software criticisms and antitrust issues.
  • Concerns about tax practices.
  • PRISM program participation.
  • Diversity scrutiny and antitrust investigation in Europe.

Saudi Aramco (Oil & Gas)

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  • Officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Group or Aramco.
  • State-owned petroleum and natural gas company.
  • Formerly called Arabian-American Oil Company.
  • The second-largest company globally by revenue (as of 2022).
  • Achieved the largest annual profits in global corporate history.
  • Market capitalization surpassed $2 trillion in 2019.
  • Headquarters located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
  • Operates the world’s largest single hydrocarbon network, the Master Gas System.
  • Manages over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia.
  • Possesses the world’s second-largest proven crude oil reserves (over 270 billion barrels).
  • Largest daily oil production among all oil-producing companies.
  • Significant operations in the Ghawar Field (largest onshore oil field) and Safaniya Field (largest offshore oil field).
  • Shares began trading on the Tadawul stock exchange on December 11, 2019.
  • Initial market capitalization was around $1.88 trillion, surpassing $2 trillion soon after.
  • Ranked as the second-largest public company globally in the 2023 Forbes Global 2000.
  • Operates the Master Gas System, the world’s largest hydrocarbon network.
  • Extensive crude oil production, totaling 3.4 billion barrels in 2013.
  • Manages vast natural gas reserves, including 288.4 trillion standard cubic feet.
  • Ranked as the second-largest public company globally in the 2023 Forbes Global 2000.
  • Shares commenced trading on the Tadawul stock exchange on December 11, 2019.
  • The initial share price reached 35.2 Saudi riyals.
  • Achieved a market capitalization of about $1.88 trillion initially.
  • Surpassed the $2 trillion mark on the second day of trading.
  • Maintains industry leadership with significant reserves and production capacity.
  • Operates major fields, including the world’s largest onshore and offshore oil fields.
  • Globally recognized as a major player in the oil and gas industry.
  • Consistently ranked among the largest and most profitable companies worldwide.

Alphabet (Google) (Technology)

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  • Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate holding company.
  • The headquarters is located in Mountain View, California.
  • World’s third-largest technology company by revenue.
  • One of the world’s most valuable companies.
  • Created through the restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015.
  • Became the parent company of Google and former Google subsidiaries.
  • Considered one of the Big Five American information technology companies.
  • Other members of the Big Five include Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft.
  • Motivated by a desire to make the core Google business “cleaner and more accountable.”
  • Aimed at providing greater autonomy to companies within Alphabet operating in businesses beyond Internet services.
  • Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced their resignation from executive posts in December 2019.
  • Sundar Pichai, also the CEO of Google, filled the CEO role of Alphabet.
  • Page and Brin retained positions as employees, board members, and controlling shareholders of Alphabet Inc.

Amazon (E-commerce)

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  • Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company.
  • Core focus areas include e-commerce, cloud computing, online advertising, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.
  • Founded on July 5, 1994, by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Washington.
  • Began as an online marketplace for books and expanded into diverse product categories.
  • Considered one of the Big Five American technology companies alongside Alphabet, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft.
  • World’s largest online retailer and marketplace as of 2023.
  • Largest smart speaker provider, cloud computing service through AWS, live-streaming service through Twitch, and Internet company by revenue and market share.
  • Key subsidiaries include Amazon Web Services, Zoox (self-driving car division), Kuiper Systems (satellite Internet provider), Amazon Lab126 (R&D provider), Ring, Twitch, IMDb, and Whole Foods Market.
  • The acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 substantially increased its market share and presence as a physical retailer.
  • Known for disrupting industries through technological innovation and aggressive reinvestment of profits into capital expenditures.
  • Largest retailer outside of China, surpassing Walmart in 2021.
  • As of October 2023, the 12th-most visited website globally, with 82% of traffic from the United States.
  • Offers downloadable and streaming content through Amazon Prime Video, MGM+, Amazon Music, Twitch, and Audible.
  • Engages in publishing through Amazon Publishing, film and TV content through Amazon MGM Studios.
  • Produces consumer electronics, including Kindle e-readers, Echo devices, Fire tablets, and Fire TVs.
  • Faced criticism for customer data collection, work culture, censorship, tax avoidance, and anti-competitive behavior.
  • Despite criticism, it has maintained its position as a major player in the tech and retail sectors.

Nvidia (Technology)

Pic Credit-NVIDIA
  • Nvidia Corporation is an American multinational technology company.
  • Incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
  • Specializes in the design of graphics processing units (GPUs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and system-on-a-chip units (SoCs).
  • The fabless company, meaning it focuses on design while outsourcing manufacturing.
  • Dominant supplier of artificial intelligence (AI) hardware and software.
  • Professional GPUs are used in various fields, including architecture, engineering, media, automotive, scientific research, and manufacturing design.
  • Provides the CUDA API for creating massively parallel programs utilizing GPUs.
  • Tegra mobile processors for smartphones, tablets, vehicle navigation, and entertainment systems.
  • Competes with companies like AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, Cerebras, and Graphcore in the AI hardware and software space.
  • GPUs deployed in supercomputing sites globally for high-performance computing.
  • Presence in the gaming industry with products like Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, Shield TV, and cloud gaming service GeForce Now.
  • Nvidia’s attempt to acquire Arm from SoftBank in September 2020 faced regulatory scrutiny.
  • The deal, intended to be the largest semiconductor acquisition, was terminated in February 2022.
  • Develops AI-powered software for audio and video processing, exemplified by Nvidia Maxine.
  • Extended presence from GPUs to mobile computing, gaming consoles, and cloud gaming services.

Meta Platforms (Social Media)

Meta-Largest Companies
  • Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly Facebook, Inc., and TheFacebook, Inc.
  • American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California.
  • Owns and operates major platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp.
  • Acquisition of Oculus, integrated into Reality Labs.
  • Other acquisitions include Mapillary, CTRL-Labs, and a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms.
  • Venture into non-VR hardware, including the discontinued Meta Portal smart displays.
  • Partnership with Luxottica for the Ray-Ban Stories series of smart glasses.
  • Considered one of the Big Five American information technology companies.
  • Major competitors include Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.
  • Primarily relies on advertising for revenue.
  • In 2022, advertising constituted 97.5 percent of the company’s revenue.
  • Changed its name to Meta Platforms, Inc. on October 28, 2021, to reflect a focus on building the metaverse.
  • Meta envisions the “metaverse” as an integrated environment linking all its products and services.
  • Venture into non-VR hardware, emphasizing smart displays and smart glasses.
  • Partnership with Luxottica for smart glasses under the Ray-Ban Stories series.

Berkshire Hathaway (Diversified Investments)

Berkshire Hathaway- Largest Companies
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  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company.
  • Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States.
  • Founded in 1839 as a textile manufacturer.
  • Drastic restructuring into a conglomerate began in 1965 under the leadership of Warren Buffett (Chairman and CEO) and Charlie Munger (Vice Chairman).
  • The main business and capital source is insurance.
  • Invests insurance float (retained premiums) in a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries, equity positions, and securities.
  • Advocacy of value investing principles by Buffett and Munger.
  • Achieved an average book value growth rate of 20%, outperforming the S&P 500 index.
  • Major insurance brands include GEICO (auto insurer) and Gen Re (reinsurance firm).
  • Non-insurance subsidiaries operate in various sectors: confectionery, retail, railroads, home furnishings, machinery, jewelry, apparel, electrical power, and natural gas distribution.
  • Partial ownership in companies such as Pilot Flying J, Kraft Heinz Company, American Express, Paramount Global, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, and Apple.
  • One of the top ten components of the S&P 500 index.
  • One of the largest American-owned private employers in the United States.
  • Class A shares have the highest per-share price of any public company globally, reaching $500,000 in March 2022.
  • Buffett chooses not to split the stock.

Tesla (Automotive)

Tesla- Largest Companies
Pic Credit-Car Brands
  • Tesla, Inc. in July 2003 as Tesla Motors by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.
  • Named as a tribute to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.
  • Elon Musk joined as the largest shareholder in February 2004.
  • Elon Musk became CEO in 2008.
  • 2008: Began production of the Roadster sports car.
  • 2012: Introduced the Model S sedan.
  • 2015: Launched the Model X SUV.
  • 2017: Released the Model 3 sedan, becoming the bestselling plug-in electric car worldwide.
  • 2020: Introduced the Model Y crossover.
  • 2022: Unveiled the Tesla Semi truck.
  • 2023: Revealed the Cybertruck pickup truck.
  • In June 2021, the Model 3 became the first electric car to sell 1 million units globally.
  • In October 2021, Tesla’s market capitalization briefly reached $1 trillion, making it the sixth company in U.S. history to do so.
  • As of 2023, Tesla is the world’s most valuable automaker.
  • In 2022, Tesla led the battery electric vehicle market with an 18% share.
  • Subject to lawsuits, government scrutiny, and journalistic criticism.
  • Allegations include whistleblower retaliation, worker rights violations, product defects, and controversial statements by Elon Musk.

Eli Lilly (Pharmaceuticals)

Eli Lily- Largest Companies
  • Eli Lilly and Company was founded in 1876 by Colonel Eli Lilly.
  • Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Products sold in approximately 125 countries.
  • Clinical depression drugs: Prozac (fluoxetine) (1986), Cymbalta (duloxetine) (2004), and Zyprexa (olanzapine) (1996).
  • Diabetes drugs: Humalog (insulin lispro) (1996) and Trulicity (dulaglutide) (2014).
  • First company to mass-produce the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk.
  • Pioneered insulin production, including Humulin (insulin medication) and Humalog (insulin lispro).
  • The first approved biosimilar insulin product in the US, Basaglar (insulin glargine).
  • In 2009, pleaded guilty for illegally marketing Zyprexa.
  • Agreed to pay a $1.415 billion penalty, including a record-breaking criminal fine of $515 million.
  • As of 1997, the largest corporation and charitable benefactor in Indiana.
  • In 2019, ranked 123rd on the Fortune 500.
  • Ranked 221st on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the largest public companies.
  • Ranked 252nd on the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers.
  • Full member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
  • Member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

Conclusion

In wrapping up our journey through the Global Giants of 2024, we’ve witnessed the immense scale and influence these companies hold. From groundbreaking technologies to transformative business models, these giants play pivotal roles in shaping our interconnected world. As we continue to witness their growth and evolution, it’s clear that these global players are at the forefront of innovation, driving progress and setting benchmarks for the future.

Also, read https://thelogicalpie.com/whispers-of-history-forgotten-heritage-sites/art-culture/

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