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Amazon says its mission is to be “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” and it looks like it’s working. The new king of corporate reputation, edging out last year’s leader, Apple, in the latest Harris Poll measuring the “Reputation Quotient” of the most visible companies among the American public.

Google, which held the top spot in 2011, now comes in at #4 on the ranking. Microsoft, which rose as high as #9 last year, slips to #15 in the latest poll.

How has Amazon done it?

“Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive,” says Harris Interactive executive Robert Fronk in a news release. “And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family.”

Amazon has faced criticism in the Seattle region for minimal civic engagement and charitable giving. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said he believes companies can do more good for the world through for-profit business models, done right, than through philanthropy. Notably, one of the five main drivers of reputation in this year’s Harris Poll was the “social role” played by each company.

A full report with results of the Harris Poll is available here.

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