CEOs' Picks: Most Innovative Companies

CEOs of McDonald's, Infosys, Intel, and 3M name the companies they admire and say why

JAMES A. SKINNER, CEO, McDONALD'S

Name the three global companies outside your own industry that you consider to have been the most innovative over the past year and why.

Apple: Apple (AAPL) moves faster than anyone in its industry, with the ability to innovate quickly and constantly. And if it finds success, it never stays satisfied.

DreamWorks: DreamWorks continues to raise the innovation bar related to state-of-the-art computer-generated animation, and its marketing excellence has stretched the appeal of its movies to a broader audience, as we know from our Happy Meals partnership.

Google: Has a winning formula of providing innovative products to its customers, satisfying global advertisers, and pumping its profits to fund new, cutting-edge platforms and initiatives.

Compared with last year, what will happen to your company's investments in innovation this year?

Stay roughly the same.

KRIS GOPALAKRISHNAN, CEO, INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES

Name the three global companies outside your own industry that you consider to have been the most innovative over the past year and why.

Apple: From notebooks to iPods and Apple stores to iTunes, Apple consistently demonstrates it understands and, more important, anticipates customer wants and needs.

Cisco Systems: Cisco (CSCO) never sits still. It produces a vast array of breakthrough products for corporate clients as well as homes and small businesses. Cisco's Telepresence videoconferencing solutions are smart and help companies cut their carbon outputs.

Samsung: Samsung just announced the first truly Internet-enabled TV that allows full-function Web access to be integrated into the TV screen. And Samsung's LED flat screen is as technologically brilliant as it is ecologically sensitive.

Compared with last year, what will happen to your company's investments in innovation this year?

Decrease slightly (0%-10%).

CRAIG R. BARRETT, CHAIRMAN, INTEL

Name the three global companies outside your own industry that you consider to have been the most innovative over the past year and why.

Apple: Brings out new, exciting products by combining excellent design, integrated offerings (hardware, software, and content), and strong marketing. Apple continually demonstrates the ability to change market dynamics and gain significant market share with new-product offerings.

Nokia: Rapidly introduces products with new features and styles for a wide geographic range of customers. Nokia's (NOK) able to maintain strong market position.

BMW: Offers a constant flow of new, sleek designs, fuel-efficient power plants, and high-end entertainment and information systems at a time when much of the auto industry struggles to stay relevant.

Compared with last year, what will happen to your company's investments in innovation this year?

Stay roughly the same.

GEORGE W. BUCKLEY, CEO, 3M

Name the three global companies outside your own industry that you consider to have been the most innovative over the past year and why.

Pixar: Pixar (DIS) is changing the way movies are made.

Siemens: Brings new technologies to market and matches those technologies with market needs.

Caterpillar: Has innovative manufacturing processes (CAT).

IBM: It's successfully moving from product manufacturing to an innovative services business model (IBM).

Deere: Pursues innovative marketing strategies and strong customer connections (DE).

Goodyear: Has innovative processes for product development.

Compared with last year, what will happen to your company's investments in innovation this year?

Increase slightly (0-10%).

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