Friday, November 18, 2005

I still don't get no respect

I'm usually pretty skeptical as to the value of these company league table exercises put together by the financial press, but in the world of corporate paranoia and keeping-up-with-the-Jones', I guess they must mean something to someone. The Financial Times today has another in its annual series of "World's Most Respected Companies," a mixture of hagiography and crypto-advertising, and I'm sorry to report that, with the exception of Carlos Slim, no telco executive figures in the top 50 most respected business leaders, and not a single telco name crops up in any other category (shareholder value, turnaround, customer service, innovation, most respected company).

Some might argue that the list reflects largely global players in global industries, whereas telecom is a global industry comprised of national and regional players woven loosely together - thus, it's not a fair comparison. Balderdash, I say. Vision is vision, and where it exists it is awarded respect. At the very least, one would expect that the closest thing to a global player in the industry would appear somewhere in these lists (if nothing else, its market cap is larger than many of the companies which do appear - despite the rout of earlier in the week), but no cigar, hard cheese. You are known by the company you keep, and it looks like telecom is cowering in the corner with the dowdy wallflowers, suffering from low self-esteem.

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