Despite a year of highly publicized legal investigations and privacy stumbles and a more or less flat stock price, Google has the best reputation of any company among Americans, according to a poll released by Harris Interactive this morning.
Last year, it finished in third place.
The poll asked more than 30,000 Americans to rate 60 prominent companies in six areas. Google topped two of them -- financial performance (despite a flat stock price for the last year) and workplace environment -- and finished in the top five in vision and leadership, social responsibility, and products and services.
That was enough to put it into the top spot, ahead of last year's winner, Berkshire Hathaway (which dropped to #4).
It's a good reminder that general American perceptions don't always match those of the tech community. Silicon Valley may consider Google to be past its prime, but the broader population sees nothing wrong there.
Other tech companies in the top 10 included Apple at #5 (up from #12 last year), Intel (#6 for two years in a row), Amazon at #8 (up from #9). Microsoft dropped out of the top ten this year, falling from #7 to #16.
Facebook, which was measured for the first time, came in right in the middle at #31.
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