Special Report

The Largest Fortune 500 Companies Still Led by Their Founders

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Maja Hitij / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Few things in the corporate world are more captivating to a general audience than a company run by its founder. Elon Musk is a classic example. No matter what you think of the multi-billionaire businessman, serial company founder, and social media gadfly, it’s hard to look away from him or his companies Tesla and SpaceX.

Similar things could be said about Jeff Bezos and Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg and Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), and Reed Hastings and Netflix.

To determine the largest founder-led companies in the Fortune 500, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on Fortune’s website. Fortune ranks public companies by their total revenue per respective fiscal year. Each company on this list was founded by its current CEO and was ranked based on annual revenue.

According to Fidelity Investments, some investors believe that companies led by their founders have a competitive advantage. They believe founders have greater experience running the companies they’ve established, a stronger drive for success, and an “incentive to take the long-view for the business.” (These are famous brands that will disappear in 2022.)

This perception that founder-led companies have an advantage may stem from the fact that founder-led companies tend to be newer and more exciting, capitalizing on the latest innovations. The oldest existing U.S. company, Bank of New York Mellon, which was founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784, is a stuffy stalwart compared to Tesla, the maker of high-tech electric cars at the vanguard of modern automobile electrification.

Whatever the case may be, there aren’t many large companies run by their founders. Company creators resign (as Bezos did last year from his CEO role at Amazon) or their companies are acquired or go bankrupt — or companies simply outlive their creators. (This is the largest merger of the past 20 years.)

Click here to see the largest fortune 500 companies still led by their founders

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

18. Carvana
>CEO: Ernest Garcia, III.
>Revenue: $5.6 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 483
>Employees: 10,400

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Source: United States Department of Commerce / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Blackstone Group
>CEO: Stephen Schwarzman
>Revenue: $6.1 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 454
>Employees: 3,165

Source: Courtesy of Sanmina Corporation

16. Sanmina
>CEO: Jure Sola
>Revenue: $7.0 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 418
>Employees: 33,500

Source: Intercontinental Exchange / Public Domain / / Wikimedia Commons

15. Intercontinental Exchange
>CEO: Jeffrey Sprecher
>Revenue: $8.2 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 365
>Employees: 8,890

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Source: Jim.henderson / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
>CEO: Leonard Schleifer
>Revenue: $8.5 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 354
>Employees: 9,123

Source: Square Capital, LLC

13. Block
>CEO: Jack Dorsey
>Revenue: $9.5 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 323
>Employees: 5,477

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Source: Steel Dynamics / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons /

12. Steel Dynamics
>CEO: Mark Millett
>Revenue: $9.6 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 319
>Employees: 9,625

11. KKR
>CEO: Henry Kravis, George Roberts
>Revenue: $9.6 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 316
>Employees: 1,583

Source: Courtesy of Wayfair

10. Wayfair
>CEO: Niraj Shah
>Revenue: $14.1 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 217
>Employees: 16,122

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Source: Antonio Bordunovi / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

9. Nvidia
>CEO: Jensen Huang
>Revenue: $16.7 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 184
>Employees: 18,975

Source: JasonDoiy / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

8. Salesforce
>CEO: Marc Benioff
>Revenue: $21.3 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 137
>Employees: 56,606

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Source: wutwhanfoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

7. Netflix
>CEO: Reed Hastings
>Revenue: $25.0 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 115
>Employees: 9,400

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

6. Tesla
>CEO: Elon Musk
>Revenue: $31.5 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 100
>Employees: 70,757

Source: JHVEPhoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

5. Capital One Financial
>CEO: Richard Fairbank
>Revenue: $31.6 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 99
>Employees: 51,985

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Source: Teka77 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

4. FedEx
>CEO: Frederick Smith
>Revenue: $69.2 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 45
>Employees: 418,000

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

3. Meta Platforms
>CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
>Revenue: $86.0 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 34
>Employees: 58,604

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Source: hapabapa / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

2. Dell Technologies
>CEO: Michael Dell
>Revenue: $94.2 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 28
>Employees: 158,000

Source: David Ryder / Getty Images

1. Amazon
>CEO: Jeff Bezos
>Revenue: $386.1 billion
>Fortune 500 rank: No. 2
>Employees: 1,298,000

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