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Samsung soars as Apple plummets in reputation rankings

Samsung Electronics and Apple, two tech companies that were beleaguered by product scandals in 2017, showed very different performances in global corporate reputation rankings for 2018.

Samsung Electronics jumped 44 spots to land at No. 26 in the annual Global RepTrak 100 released by the Reputation Institute, while Apple plummeted 38 steps to land at No. 58. 

Both companies suffered major setbacks in 2017. Samsung Electronics grappled with the fallout from safety concerns surrounding its battery for the Galaxy Note 7, as well as the legal troubles of its Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

Apple faced its own slew of problems including lawsuits in multiple countries over a software update that slowed down operations on its older iPhone models and sub-par iPhone X sales.

The difference in performance may be due to the way the two companies handled their public relations crises -- Samsung was swift to offer apologies and roll out programs for increasing shareholder value, while Apple largely remained silent.


“There is a growing crisis of trust in the world, especially among big companies making record profits,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief research officer for Reputation Institute, through a release. “These companies are increasingly judged on aspects of their morality and ethics. 

Today, companies are more widely scrutinized based on their alignment with social causes, how they behave, their enterprise-wide values and the internal culture they create -- they are not solely measured on what they make or how they make it.”

Korean electronics giant LG also made a 22-step leap to rank No. 41 in this year‘s rankings. Rolex placed at the top of the list, while BMW and Microsoft broke into the Top 10, displacing Intel and Rolls-Royce.

The rankings are based on more than 230,000 individual ratings collected in the first quarter of 2018, according to Reputation Institute. 

By Won Ho-jung (