NOTE: this article was republished with permission from Fortune.com
By Geoff Colvin, Shelley DuBois and Daniel Roberts, Fortune
Now that the skies are clearing after the worst economic storm in modern history -- far more violent than the experts had predicted -- we face a surprising new roster of winners and losers, as our 2011 ranking of the World's Most Admired Companies makes clear.
Stress in the recession and financial crisis brought out traits that may not have been noticed when the sailing was smooth. Upstarts became champions. Famed competitors fell behind; some didn't make it through the storm. The findings of our latest survey show a new competitive order in many industries and in business generally, one that will probably last years. How the winners won and the losers lost holds lessons of value for everyone.
The tumult is the greatest we've seen in 13 years of ranking the World's Most Admired. Of the 57 industries studied, 22 are led by new companies this year, the largest proportion ever. The changed order of the business world is particularly evident from another perspective -- our respondents' views about who are the best at critical business abilities. The recession changed global opinion thoroughly.
Here are the top 8 companies -- and visit Fortune for more information: