Monday, April 11, 2005

Houston #2 with the Fortune 500

Just got the 2005 Fortune 500 issue. A few facts of potential interest:
  • Houston has 20 Fortune 500 companies, #2 behind New York (43) and ahead of #3 Atlanta (14) and #4 Chicago (10). This is based on city limits, though. If it were metro areas, the numbers would be significantly different. Houston only lost one to the city limits problem: Anadarko in The Woodlands.
  • Texas has 48 Fortune 500 companies, #3 behind New York (54) and California (52), and substantially ahead of #4 Illinois (33) and #5 Ohio (30). That means Houston has almost half of the Texas Fortune 500 headquarters.
  • Interestingly, the four largest companies in Texas outline the four largest Texas metros that form the"Texas Triangle": Exxon Mobil in Irving/DFW, ConocoPhillips in Houston, Valero Energy in San Antonio, and Dell in Round Rock/Austin. They're even in the same size order from largest company/metro to smallest company/metro.


At 9:49 PM, April 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You raise an interesting point - I wonder why Fortune doesn't report the locations of Fortune 500 companies by metro area instead of city limits. In looking at Illinois' rankings, I'm guessing that Chicago metro likely has all 33 of that state's Fortune 500 companies. That is, unless I'm really underestimating Peoria...

With regards to Fortune 500 companies in Texas, you'll no doubt note that the largest companies in D/FW and San Antonio have a significant presence in Houston - ExxonMobil and Valero Energy. Frankly, I wonder why Valero has its HQ in San Antonio and not Houston.

At 10:26 PM, April 11, 2005, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I'm guessing they did city limits rather than metro areas simply because it's a whole lot easier to count up the cities in each mailing address than to try and allocate them to a metro area. It really distorts the rankings, though. For instance, LA and DC aren't even listed in the top 17 cities, even though there are plenty of Fortune 500s in each of their metro areas.

And you're right about Illinois: most of those 33 are around Chicago, although there are some big exceptions: the largest - State Farm - is in Bloomington, ADM in Decatur, and, finally, you are underestimating Peoria: Caterpillar (#57, #8 in Illinois).

Valero is an odd one, but not as odd as ChevronTexaco, which is headquartered outside San Francisco! They even had a sit-in of protestors shut them down before the Iraq war. Think that would happen in Houston? I've heard GHP has pitched them pretty hard on moving, but the CEO and his wife are pretty entrenched in the SF nonprofit community. Maybe they'll reconsider when they get a new CEO and do the math on housing costs for their employees...

At 9:24 PM, December 02, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More shocking than ChevronTexaco is ExxonMobil. According to a pipeline manager I know their corporate offices in Irving have around 100 employees, but there are 20,000 in the Houston area. I read that their Dallas based CEO recently retired so there is at least a chance that they would move.

Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and Chevron were all part of Standard Oil when it got busted up for anti-trust. Each company was moved to separate parts of the country. Texaco was in White Plains, NY before they merged.

Don't forget that in the last year or so, CITGO USA (estimated value $35B) and Schlumberger USA ($58B) moved their American headquarters to Houston from Tulsa and NYC respectively.

Valero and other non-Houston energy companies can enjoy the lack of competition for their employees if they are the only game in their respective cities.


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