The 20 companies that create the most profit per employee

  • Apple is seventh in profit per employee, Facebook is fourth, and Walmart is 99th.
  • Fannie Mae, Gilead, and Freddie Mac earn the most profit for each employee of any company.
  • Banks and pharmaceutical companies are all over the list, but those led by women CEOs are few and far between.


Apple made over $45.5 billion in profits over its last fiscal year, leading Fortune's Global 500 list of profitable companies. With 116,000 employees, the tech giant profits nearly $400,000 per employee.

Using Fortune's list of 500 companies with the highest revenue, Expert Market calculated which 100 companies profit the most for every worker they employ:

20 companies that create the most profit per employee
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20 companies that create the most profit per employee

#20: Industrial Bank
Country: China
Profit: $8.1M
Employees: 56,236
Profit per employee: $144,141

#19: Cisco Systems
Country: U.S.
Profit: $10.7M
Employees: 73,700
Profit per employee: $145,712
#18: Microsoft
Country: U.S.
Profit: $16.8M
Employees: 114,000
Profit per employee: $147,351
#17: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Country: Australia
Profit: $6.7M
Employees: 45,129
Profit per employee: $148,749
#16: Shanghai Pudong Development Bank
Country: China
Profit: $8M
Employees: 52,832
Profit per employee: $151,287
#15: Westpac Banking
Country: Australia
Profit: $5.5M
Employees: 35,280
Profit per employee: $155,244
#14: Tencent Holdings
Country: China
Profit: $6.2M
Employees: 38,775
Profit per employee: $159,533
#13: Qualcomm
Country: U.S.
Profit: $5.7M
Employees: 30,500
Profit per employee: $187,049
#12: SoftBank Group
Country: Japan
Profit: $13.2M
Employees: 68,402
Profit per employee: $192,442
#11: AbbVie
Country: U.S.
Profit: $6M
Employees: 30,000
Profit per employee: $198,433
#10: Goldman Sachs Group
Country: U.S.
Profit: $7.4M
Employees: 34,400
Profit per employee: $215,058
#9: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
Country: Taiwan
Profit: $10.3M
Employees: 46,968
Profit per employee: $218,951
#8: Alphabet
Country: U.S.
Profit: $19.5M
Employees: 72,053
Profit per employee: $270,329
#7: Apple
Country: U.S.
Profit: $45.7M
Employees: 116,000
Profit per employee: $393,853
#6: Amgen
Country: U.S.
Profit: $7.7M
Employees: 19,200
Profit per employee: $402,188
#5: National Grid
Country: U.K.
Profit: $10.2M
Employees: 22,132
Profit per employee: $458,639
#4: Facebook
Country: U.S.
Profit: $10.2M
Employees: 17,048
Profit per employee: $599,308
#3: Freddie Mac
Country: U.S.
Profit: $7.8M
Employees: 5,982
Profit per employee: $1,306,419
#2: Gilead Sciences
Country: U.S.
Profit: $13.5M
Employees: 9,000
Profit per employee: $1,500,111
#1: Fannie Mae
Country: U.S.
Profit: $12.3M
Employees: 7,000
Profit per employee: $1,759,000

To find these numbers, Expert Market simply divided the company's profit over the last financial year by the number of people it employs.

Apple did not come in first; Tim Cook's company ended up in a respectable seventh on Expert Market's list. Facebook — 28th in profit but with about a tenth of the number of Apple's employees — is fourth.

Walmart — the 13th most profitable company — drops to 99th when ranked by profit per employee because of its large 2.3 million-person workforce.

Government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are first and third on the list, respectively. Fannie Mae — or more properly, the Federal National Mortgage Association — had a profit of $12.3 billion and a profit per employee of $1.76 million. Its brother organization, Freddie Mac, had a lower total profit and fewer employees but made $1.3 million for each employee.

Gilead Sciences — an American pharmaceutical company — falls in between the mortgage loaners. With $1.5 million in profits per employee, Gilead came in second on Expert Market's ranking. In total, 10 pharmaceutical companies made their way to the top 100.

Banks took up 30 spots on the list of the 1oo companies that were most profitable per employee, led by Goldman Sachs at 10th.

This year's Fortune 500 has a record 32 female CEOs, but by profit per employee, a woman-led company doesn't come in until the 55th spot, where Safra Catz is one of Oracle's two top executives. Catz is joined in the top 100 by Lockheed Martin's Marillyn Hewson, PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi, IBM's Ginni Rometty, and General Motor's Mary Barra.

Eight of the top 10 and 12 of the top 20 companies for profit per employee are American organizations. Of the remaining eight companies, three are Chinese, two are Australian, and there's one company each from Japan, Taiwan, and the UK.

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