- Fortune magazine recently published its 2021 list of the world's most-admired companies, and AECOM leads the construction and engineering category, followed by Jacobs, Quanta Services, MasTec and KBR. Jacobs held the top spot in that category last year.
- Other construction industry categories represented on Fortune's list were construction equipment companies and homebuilders. Fortune named Deere as the most admired company that produces construction equipment, followed by Caterpillar, Oshkosh, Volvo and Paccar. The most admired homebuilders were Lennar, Toll Bros., PulteGroup, D.R. Horton and NVR.
- Management consulting firm Korn Ferry determined the rankings by asking executives, directors and analysts to rate companies in their industries based on nine criteria: ability to attract and retain talented people; quality of management; social responsibility to the community and the environment; innovativeness; quality of products or services; wise use of corporate assets; financial soundness; long-term investment value; and effectiveness in doing business globally.
AECOM released a statement in response to its ranking on Fortune's list, saying that despite the coronavirus-related challenges of 2020, it still delivered strong financial results for its stakeholders, results that outperformed guidance on almost all of its key financial metrics while pursuing its environmental, social and governance goals and developing critical digital solutions.
As part of its mission to pursue projects that are higher-margin and low-risk, AECOM announced in December that it was selling its civil construction business, which includes California-based Shimmick Construction. AECOM purchased Shimmick for $175 million in 2017.
During its fiscal fourth-quarter presentation in November, Rudd told shareholders and analysts that AECOM's backlog was $41.2 billion, a year-over-year increase of 13%, and that he expected the company to benefit from anticipated infrastructure spending from the Biden administration. The company's first quarter 2021 earnings call is set for next week.
In the No. 2 spot on Fortune's list, Jacobs kicked off a global initiative this summer focused on inclusion and diversity. The company’s Action Plan for Advancing Justice and Equality outlined a range of key commitments and actions focused on diversity and inclusion. They include:
- Providing leadership development programs to accelerate advancement for Black employees to mid- and senior-level leadership.
- Requiring senior leaders to sponsor and mentor two diverse employees (one of whom must be Black), ensuring global reach of mentoring opportunities and accountability for success.
- Further strengthening diversity of the Board of Directors, including Black representation.