ATLANTA, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Fortune magazine's 2011 list of the "World's Most Admired Companies" has Southern Company at the top in the electric and gas utility sector, sharing the No. 1 ranking with NextEra Energy.
Fortune surveyed industry executives, directors and securities analysts at more than 600 companies to complete the list.
Southern Company ranked first in six of the nine categories judged – people management, financial soundness, quality of products and services, quality of management, long-term investment and use of corporate assets. Other criteria included innovation, social responsibility and global competitiveness.
"Our customers are at the center of everything we do, and our employees are at the center of how we do it," said Tom Fanning, Southern Company chairman, president and CEO. "This honor is a reflection of them – their innovation, their dedication and their unwavering commitment to excellence. At the end of the day, we want to be as respected for what we do on Wall Street as we are on Main Street."
Southern Company has been ranked No. 1 four times since 2002 and has been in the top five four other times.
The Hay Group administers the Fortune survey, starting with about 1,400 companies: the Fortune 1,000 (the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue), non-U.S. companies in Fortune's Global 500 database with revenue of $10 billion or more, and the top foreign companies operating in the U.S.
Hay Group sorts them by industry and selects the 15 largest for each international industry and the 10 largest for each U.S. industry. A total of 673 companies from 32 countries were surveyed. To create the 57 industry lists, Hay asks executives, directors and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on the nine criteria.
With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Visit our Web site at www.southerncompany.com.
SOURCE Southern Company