This year's list is chock full of companies that are rewriting the rules in their industries. They are the agitators, the pioneers, and the game-changers that are leading the way in the 21st century
Strategies for Success
CEO Larry Ellison engineered a string of acquisitions that have given a boost to the software giant's revenues. Now he must prove he can manage a bigger, more complex company.
Profits at the artificial joint maker are soaring as aging boomers refuse to be sidelined by wear and tear. Credit a CEO who has galvanized both the sales force and R&D.
It's a lead underwriter of the first U.S. hedge-fund IPO--and has a stake in what could be the largest private-equity deal ever. The house that bonds built has come a long way.
The specialty metals company has seen a dramatic reversal of fortune since 2003, thanks to demand from hot industries such as aerospace, oil and gas, and nuclear power.
A healthy global economy and a boom in commercial sales are helping the world's largest real estate services company thrive as the market grows more complex.
BW50 Stories From the Past Year
It faces an onerous tax, and even the possibility of losing its oil field
A mass-market osteoporosis drug could help reassure antsy investors
Unrest makes Freeport's dependence on one Indonesian mine especially precarious
Paulson is just the latest product of Goldman's public service culture
The financial giant is making huge investments in info tech, and expects to reap huge rewards
How EMC transformed itself into an information management powerhouse
More spending may assuage Burlington Northern's customers, but not Wall Street
The problem: huge sales, tiny profits. High-margin tech products could help
It has joined the ranks of Big Oil, but bets on higher energy costs give investors pause
Bearish investors say the builder's land bets will hammer earnings. Management is listening
Aging customers? Sure. Nostalgia brand? Definitely. So why is its stock at a record high?
Amazon's CEO wants to run your business with the technology behind his Web site. But Wall street wants him to mind the store
Why the Democrats' plans for health care may be behind CVS's bargain buyout of Caremark
The company is thriving, with a culture that lets left-brain and right-brain types coexist
No schedules. No mandatory meetings. Inside Best Buy's radical reshaping of the workplace
Behind the flameout of controversial CEO Bob Nardelli
How Andrea Jung is trying to stop the sag by getting smarter about the numbers
WellPoint see growth selling no-frills coverage to twentysomethings