Special Report

Companies With the Best and Worst Reputations

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5. General Mills
> 2020 reputation quotient: 81.2
> 2019 reputation quotient: N/A
> Industry: Food
> CEO: Jeffrey L. Harmening

During the COVID-19 pandemic, packaged food company General Mills donated $5 million to ensure vulnerable children had access to meals amid school closures. The Minnesota-based consumer foods company also paid its workers a daily bonus and granted them enhanced benefits during the pandemic.

General Mills is the company behind some of the most recognizable brands stocking shelves of grocery stores across the country. The company’s products include cereal, snack foods, pizza, ice cream, and yogurt, marketed under familiar brands like Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Haagen Dazs, Nature Valley, Pillsbury, and Yoplait.

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4. Publix Supermarkets
> 2020 reputation quotient: 81.2
> 2019 reputation quotient: 80.3
> Industry: Grocery stores
> CEO: Todd Jones

Florida-based Publix Supermarkets is the largest employee-owned company in the country. The company has a loyal customer base and receives high marks from its employees as a place to work. As is the case with many highly regarded companies, Publix is notable for its charitable contributions. The company was recently recognized as the top charitable donor to United Way, pledging $38.6 million to the nonprofit organization’s most recent campaign.

During the second quarter of 2020, as more Americans were eating at home amid the pandemic, Publix sales surged. Publix has over 1,200 brick-and-mortar stores locations across the Southeastern United States.

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3. Amazon
> 2020 reputation quotient: 81.4
> 2019 reputation quotient: 82.3
> Industry: E-commerce
> CEO: Jeffrey P. Bezos

Few companies proved to be as indispensable as Amazon.com during the pandemic. The e-commerce giant delivered much needed products to homes and businesses all over the country at a time when shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers was dangerous or just not possible. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, Amazon reported $75.5 billion in sales, up from $59.7 billion in the same period the previous year, and traffic to the company’s website jumped 65% in March 2020 compared to the same time last year.

As is the case with many other companies on this list, Amazon has given back during the pandemic. The company set aside $500 million in bonuses for employees who worked throughout the month of June and has donated tens of millions of dollars in relief funds for employees and communities affected by the virus.

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2. The Hershey Company
> 2020 reputation quotient: 81.5
> 2019 reputation quotient: N/A
> Industry: Food
> CEO: Michele Gross Buck

Like many of the companies on this list — especially those that rank among the most reputable companies in 2019 — The Hershey Company has taken measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19. In April, Hershey committed $1 million to produce face masks for its employees, their families, health care workers, and others. The company has also donated tens of thousands of dollars, as well as dairy products and sugar, to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

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1. The Clorox Company
> 2020 reputation quotient: 82.8
> 2019 reputation quotient: N/A
> Industry: Household products
> CEO: Benno O. Dorer

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clorox has risen in stature and reputation with the American public. The company manufactures a range of cleaning products including bleach, laundry detergent, mopping cloths, disinfectant cleaning products, and disinfecting wipes that claim to kill 99% of viruses and are approved against the novel coronavirus. During the pandemic, products like these have proved to be essential in keeping households and public spaces clean to help slow the spread of the virus.

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