Which of America’s fastest-growing companies sells the most stuff? Would you guess Facebook, Levi Strauss, or Publix, or none of the above? Find out.
From lawn care services and craft supplies to groceries and apparel, this year’s biggest Inc. 5000 companies by sales each grew quick enough to land on the list–despite their massive size. Click through the Gallery to find out which of America’s fastest-growing companies–Levi Strauss, Facebook, or Publix (or none of these)–sells the most stuff. –Jillian D’Onfro
Hank Mullany, CEO Memphis No. 4,947 2011 Revenue: $3.2 billion Three-Year Growth: 7.04% When former minor league ball player Marion Wade founded ServiceMaster in 1929, the Chicago-based company focused solely on mothproofing. Today, ServiceMaster has seven brands and offers a range of services including lawn care, pest control, furniture repair, and home inspection. Although it’s headquartered in Memphis, ServiceMaster operates 6,900 company-owned, franchised, and licensed locations worldwide.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Menlo Park, Calif. No. 295 2011 Revenue: $3.7 billion Three-Year Growth: 1,264.34% At this point, the words “I don’t use Facebook” are nearly as rare as a Mark Zuckerberg interview. Only eight years old, Facebook now boasts 955 million users and is available in 70 different languages. After going public in May, the company is focused on monetizing its mobile platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who of course founded Facebook in 2004 from his Harvard dorm room, remains firmly in control.
John Ballbach, CEO Radnor, Pa. No. 4,847 2011 Revenue: $4.2 billion Three-Year Growth: 10.69% Along with brilliant minds, scientific innovation requires a slew of supplies to bring an idea to market. VWR International provides products for scientific research, including chemicals, instruments, and apparel. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, VWR operates in more than 25 countries around the world and maintains over 8,000 employees. John Taylor founded the company in 1852, and made his fortune selling glassware to customers in the mining and laboratory markets.
John Menzer, CEO Irving, Texas No. 4,866 2011 Revenue: $4.2 billion Three-Year Growth: 9.63% Michaels, supply mecca to the crafter crowd, went public in 1984 with only 16 store locations in the Deep South. Over the following 10 years, the company hurtled through an aggressive expansion program, gaining recognition as the largest arts and crafts retailer in North America by 1996, when it had 500 stores. In 2006, a deal returned the company to private ownership, and now Michaels operates more than 1,000 craft stores in 49 states. The company was No. 4,934 on the 2011 Inc. 5000 list.
David Luck, CEO Beloit, Wis. No. 3,343 2011 Revenue: $4.6 billion Three-Year Growth: 58.25% Founded by the late Ken Hendricks in 1982, ABC Supply has become one of the biggest roofing, siding, and windows wholesalers in the U.S. David Luck, who became president in 1998 and has been CEO since 2008, says that the company’s employee-first culture has helped it thrive. “Being part of a large national company but managing it in a way that empowers employees: this approach to the business has been a catalyst to our growth over the years,” he says. ABC Supply ranked No. 4,081 on the Inc. 5000 in 2011.
Jonathan Rich, CEO Evansville, Ind. No. 4,210 2011 Revenue: $4.6 billion Three-Year Growth: 29.83% Berry Plastics Group creates injection-molded plastic products that it distributes to over 30,000 customers from its 85 manufacturing facilities worldwide, with locations in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Current CEO Jonathan Rich has led the company since 2010, guiding it into new territory when Berry Plastics filed for a $500 million IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2012.
Charles Bergh, CEO San Francisco No. 4,909 2011 Revenue: $4.8 billion Three-Year Growth: 12.7% When Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss created the first pair of blue jeans in 1853, the pants were marketed to miners flocking to California for the Gold Rush. Today, Levi Strauss is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies, selling a diverse collection of apparel in addition to its iconic denim jeans. At Levi, Chip Bergh now wears the pants: He became the company’s CEO in 2011 after spending 28 years at Procter & Gamble.
Kevin Kennedy, CEO Basking Ridge, N.J. No. 4,782 2011 Revenue: $5.5 billion Three-Year Growth: 12.68% Avaya, a technology company that provides communication services to companies all around the world, privatized in 2007. Kevin Kennedy says that Avaya, as a company transitioning from one generation of technology to another, stays ahead of the game by seeking out employees who are like marathon runners. “You take a step forward, and then half a step back,” he says. “But you’ve got to just keep relentlessly moving forward.”
Thomas Richards, CEO Vernon Hills, Ill. No. 4,579 2011 Revenue: $9.6 billion Three-Year Growth: 18.97% One of the Inc. 5000 companies with the highest revenue last year, CDW lands on the list again. Founded in 1984 as one of the first businesses to market computers directly to customers, CDW has grown to over 6,300 employees, and now offers complex technologies that include virtualization, data center optimization, and cloud computing. Thomas Richards joined the company as president and COO in 2009, and became CEO in 2011, the same year the company ranked No. 4,834 on the Inc. 5000.
Ed Crenshaw, CEO Lakeland, Fla. No. 4,780 2011 Revenue: $26.9 billion Three-Year Growth: 12.7% Ed Crenshaw began a career at Publix in 1974 as a stock clerk. Thirty-four years later he rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2008, a position he holds today. He’s not the only employee dedicated to the Publix culture: the company has been on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For for the last 15 years. The largest employee-owned supermarket in the United States, Publix has over 1,000 stores in five states. The company inched up a bit from its previous rank at No. 4,796 on the Inc. 5000 in 2011.