A company's reputation is formed not only by the products it sells, but by the decisions it makes in times of crises. For some, that's a good thing. For others, some present on this list, not so much.
Using survey results, market research firm Harris Interactive has compiled a list of the U.S. companies with the best and worst reputations. For the 12th Annual Harris Interactive U.S. Reputation Quotient Survey roughly 30,000 Americans were asked to rate the 60 most visible companies in the United States based on six factors: financial performance, products and services, workplace environment, vision and leadership, social responsibility, and emotional appeal. Combining these factors, Harris tallied a total RQ Score. Scoring above 80, for reference, indicates a company's reputation is "excellent."
Overall, companies in this year's survey ranked higher than the previous year, with 16 companies rated as "excellent" compared to only six last year. Tech companies, in general, seem to have the best reputations, while financial and oil companies have the worst. Notorious scandals like the BP Gulf Oil Spill and Goldman Sachs's role in the subprime crisis seem to have lingered in American minds, and companies with the worst reputations scored especially poorly when rated on whether they have "high ethical standards" and could be "trusted to do the right thing."
Car companies largely fell somewhere in the middle, but that could change in the coming years. General Motors and Chrysler, while stuck in the bottom 11 this year, did make the third and fourth highest gains on the list, respectively, of any company.
Below are the 11 companies with the worst corporate reputations: