Special Report

Companies With the Best and Worst Reputations

Companies With The Worst Reputations

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

10. BP
> 2020 reputation quotient: 65.6
> 2019 reputation quotient: 66.5
> Industry: Oil and gas
> CEO: Bernard Looney

London-based BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, is one of the companies behind the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, that killed 11 people and leaked 4 million barrels of oil into the ocean over an 87-day period. In addition to being culpable for the largest oil spill in marine drilling history, BP has committed over 100 environmental violations in the last 20 years, for which it has paid nearly $30 billion in penalties. Perhaps not surprisingly, Americans have concerns about the company’s ethics, vision, and values and are unlikely to trust BP.

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

9. JCPenney
> 2020 reputation quotient: 63.5
> 2019 reputation quotient: 66.6
> Industry: Department store
> CEO: Jill Soltau

The once great department store chain JCPenney is now one of the latest victims of what many are calling the retail apocalypse. Already struggling under growing debt and lagging sales going into 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led the company to file for bankruptcy protection in May. To avoid liquidation, JCPenney will likely have to close hundreds of locations.

The company’s poor reputation is tied to widespread doubts about its viability as well as its vision for the future. In light of the mass store closures that are likely coming, it is perhaps not surprising that JCPenney did not rank as a good company to work for in the poll.

Source: SweetBabeeJay / iStock

8. Comcast
> 2020 reputation quotient: 63.3
> 2019 reputation quotient: 61.4
> Industry: Entertainment and telecommunications
> CEO: Brian Roberts

Comcast is a media and telecommunication conglomerate that operates multiple brands, including Xfinity, NBC, and Universal theme parks. Comcast’s reputation suffers from a lack of public trust and a dislike for its products and services.

Cable service providers, like the Comcast brand Xfinity, are perennially unpopular with the American public, often due to perception of poor customer service, regular price hikes, and long-term contracts. Some Americans may also be skeptical about the company’s growth potential, as cable providers are struggling in an era of a growing number of streaming services. In the second quarter of 2020 alone, the company reported it lost a net of nearly half a million cable television subscribers.

Source: Steve Bott from Los Angeles, USA / Wikimedia Commons

7. Fox Corporation
> 2020 reputation quotient: 63.1
> 2019 reputation quotient: N/A
> Industry: Broadcasting
> CEO: Lachlan Keith Murdoch

Fox Corporation is a New York-based cable television company that operates a number of sports, news, and entertainment networks. A widespread perception that the company is not a good place to work partially explains the company’s poor reputation. Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes resigned from the company in 2016 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, and the following year, Bill O’Reilly, the network’s most watched broadcaster resigned over similar allegations.

The company is also widely criticized for appearing to have a political agenda, and these perceptions may undermine public trust in the organization.

Source: Andrew Burton / Getty Images

6. Twitter
> 2020 reputation quotient: 62.1
> 2019 reputation quotient: 61.9
> Industry: Social media
> CEO: Jack Dorsey

Twitter has been criticized for being both too harsh and too lenient with controversial tweets and accounts. President Trump accused the social media site of stifling free speech when it fact checked a tweet of his from May 2020 that made the unsubstantiated claim that the governor of California would mail ballots to “anyone living in the state” and then have “professionals” tell them how to vote.

Other critics have also accused Twitter of allowing users that post hateful or harassing messages to remain on the site, in spite of alleged violations of its policies. Survey respondents ranked Twitter’s ethics and culture among the worst of America’s most recognizable companies.

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