Forbes' list of innovators is out -- and you may be surprised at how this year's rankings shaped up. For many, it's no surprise that Salesforce has topped the list once again. The CRM company has ranked first on 'The World's 100 Most Innovative Companies' list for the third year in a row. The list is in its third year.
VMware can pat itself on the back, taking second place on the list while Amazon picked up seventh place. Other technology names in the top 50 include Baidu, Yahoo Japan, Teradata, Google and Citrix Systems. But noteworthy is the fact that Apple has dropped to number 79 on the list and Microsoft dropped off the rankings completely.
"It is an honor for salesforce.com to be ranked by Forbes as the World's Most Innovative Company for three straight years," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com. "We are focused on helping companies connect more deeply with their customers and unlock greater levels of growth, innovation and success."
Can Microsoft Rebound?
Neither Microsoft nor Apple could immediately be reached for comment. Both companies, however, are not living up to the former glory their co-founders and former CEOs, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, respectively, enjoyed.
Microsoft may be positioning itself for a return to the list in 2014. In July, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced a reorganization of the company. Actually, he called it a "far-reaching realignment," and the goal is to set the stage for faster innovation in a fast-changing world. Ballmer is convinced this so-called realignment will help the company better execute its strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that "empower" consumers and enterprises alike.
Ballmer announced there will be four engineering areas: OS, Apps, Cloud, and Devices. Microsoft will keep Dynamics separate. The company will also increase focus on its engineering systems, processes, and tools to improve the productivity of every engineer and to facilitate engineering collaboration and contribution across the company. Will it work? Too soon to tell.
Apple Needs To Innovate
As for Apple, the tech world has been buzzing about whether Tim Cook should be replaced as CEO of Apple for months. Earlier this month, Fox News reported that the board that put him in the chief executive seat is getting weary of waiting on new innovation.
Apple's board of directors -- which includes the likes of Disney CEO Roger Iger, J.Crew's Millard Drexler, and former U.S. vice president Al Gore -- is starting to grumble about lost iPhone market share, declining tablet share and dipping stock prices.
Fox correspondent Charlie Gasparino made it clear that Cook's job wasn't in immediate danger, but the board is concerned. Given the fact that Apple's stock prices have dropped from $700 in 2012 to $461 in 2013, it's not hard to understand the worries.
"What have they had lately? They have had the iPad, they've had a few other things, but they don't have anything innovating from what came from [Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs," Gasparino said. "And that concern is basically manifesting into pressure on Tim Cook to innovate -- do something fast."