Most Valued Staff: These Companies Generate The Most Profit Per Employee

The 100 most profitable companies on the Fortune Global 500 list generated between £34.8 billion ($45.7 billion) and £3.6 billion ($4.8 billion) in the last financial year (2016-2017). These are numbers that are too large to even comprehend. But when we divided profits by number of employees to determine who effectively has the most ‘profitable’ employees, the numbers were truly impressive:

Company Name
Profit per Employee ($) Profit per Employee (£)
1 Fannie Mae US 1,759,000 1,342,759
2 Gilead Sciences US 1,500,111 1,145,132
3 Freddie Mac US 1,306,419 997,275
4 Facebook US 599,307 457,491
5 Amgen US 402,187 307,016
6 Apple US 393,853 300,654
7 Alphabet US 270,329 206,360
8 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Taiwan 218,951 167,140
9 Goldman Sachs Group US 215,058 164,168
10 AbbVie US 198,433 151,477
11 SoftBank Group Japan 192,442 146,903
12 Qualcomm US 187,049 142,787
13 Tencent Holdings China 159,533 121,782
14 Westpac Banking Australia 155,244 118,508
15 Shanghai Pudong Development Bank China 151,287 115,487
16 Commonwealth Bank of Australia Australia 148,749 113,550
17 Microsoft US 147,351 112,483
18 Cisco Systems US 145,712 111,232
19 Industrial Bank China 144,141 110,032

What the Tech is Going On?

Many would expect the employees of tech companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google to be among the most profitable, but their employees ranked only 4th, 6th and 7th respectively. Surprisingly, those holding the top three spots were companies from traditional industries; mortgage providers and pharmaceuticals.

A Productivity Party in the USA

Of the top 10 companies in terms of profit per employee, eight are American. This is no surprise considering that the USA has the 6th most productive workforce in the world, and the biggest economy at £14.5 trillion ($19.4 trillion)

Employees of the American Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), more commonly known as Fannie Mae, were the most profitable of all, effectively generating a staggering £1,342,759 ($1,759,000) each in profit last year.

Profitable Employees: There’s a Science to it

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most valuable in the US, with Americans having spent a staggering $450 billion on medicines last year alone. One of the most successful pharmaceutical companies is Gilead Sciences, who reported a profit of £10.3 billion ($13.5 billion) last year. This works out at an impressive £1.1 million ($1.5 million) in profit per employee.

Gilead are famous for their pioneering treatments of both HIV and Hepatitis C, although the high cost of drugs for the latter has caused a lot of controversy in recent months. Levels of Hep C in the US are currently at a 15 year high, and the high cost of the drug (£56,000, or $74,760, per course) has led insurance companies to impose strict criteria on who can qualify to receive it through their insurance.

What Next?

Fannie Mae employees may hold the top spot by some margin this year, but with a whole new generation of disruptive fintech startups threatening the traditional mortgage industry, we have to wonder if the leaderboard won’t look quite different in years to come.