Special Report

The World's 25 Least Admired Companies

Source: PRANGKUL RUANGSRI / iStock / Getty Images Plus

25. Amphenol
> Industry Network and other communications equipment
> Country: United States

Amphenol is a Connecticut-based technology company that produces cable systems, fiber optic connectors, and other similar products. The company ranks as one of the least admired companies in the world, according to a survey from Fortune and Korn Ferry.

Amphenol was implicated in a lawsuit filed by Walmart against automaker Tesla, in which Walmart alleged that Tesla’s solar panels on its stores were responsible for several fires. The cause of fires, however, may have been the panel connectors, or heat regulators — parts made by Amphenol. Amphenol denied its parts were responsible, but this is not the first time the company’s connectors were implicated in a similar case.

Source: herraez / Getty Images

24. Vale
> Industry Mining, crude-oil production
> Country: Brazil

Brazilian mining company Vale has had its reputation tarnished after two high-profile disasters at its work sites. In 2015, a dam at one of its mines collapsed, spilling waste and killing 19 people. In 2019, the company was responsible for the worst industrial accident in Brazil’s history, when another dam gave way, destroying a rural village and killing 270 people.

Sixteen of the company’s executives are now facing murder charges, as prosecutors said they concealed knowledge of the risks that dam carried. The company also had to pay billions of dollars in restitution to those affected.

Source: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images News via Getty Images

23. Owens & Minor
> Industry Wholesalers: health care
> Country: United States

Owens & Minor is a health care logistics business headquartered in Virginia. In 2016, the company reported losing two major clients of its medical supply distribution business, costing the company contracts worth over $700 million.

Owens & Minor faced scrutiny at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as its subsidiary Movianto was in charge of maintaining the U.K.’s PPE stockpile but struggled to distribute the equipment as needed to hospitals, according to a story in The Guardian.

Source: Natsze / Wikimedia Commons

22. Coty
> Industry Soaps and cosmetics
> Country: United States

Coty is one of the largest beauty and fragrance companies in the world, owning and working dozens of well-known brands like Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Covergirl, and more. In September 2020, Coty was named in a class action lawsuit alleging that it overstated the value of Kylie Jenner’s beauty brand Kylie Cosmetics, as well as another brand, after not properly evaluating the companies.

Coty’s stock was worth over $30 per share in April 2016, but it has been steadily declining since. As of February 2021, its stock price has fallen below $8 per share.

Source: RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

21. Wells Fargo
> Industry Banking
> Country: United States

Wells Fargo ranks as one of the world’s least admired companies after years of negative stories about its business practices. In 2016, it came to light that company employees created fake customer accounts in order to meet quotas and inflate company revenue. The company was fined millions of dollars, and in the aftermath of the scandal, CEO John Stumpf stepped down. Even after Stumpf left, revelations about the company’s dealings continued to pile up.

In January 2020, a report by a federal banking regulator included documents and testimony that workers were encouraged by the bank’s management to break the law. Stumpf agreed to pay a $17.5 million fine and was permanently banned from working in banking. A number of other former Wells Fargo executives face charges.

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