Berkshire Hathaway saw a huge drop in perception of its corporate image in Harris Interactive’s annual reputation quotient poll, which evaluates the reputation of 60 “most visible” companies in the world.
Warren Buffett’s investment firm fell 20 spots, from 4th place to 24th place, in the 2012 poll. Harris evaluates six aspects of a company—social responsibility, emotional appeal, financial performance, products and services, vision and leadership, and workplace environment—to come up with a quantitative “reputation quotient” score.
Bloomberg attributes the drop in Berkshire Hathaway’s score to the scandal former Berkshire portfolio manager David Sokol resigned in March 2011 because he had allegedly violated one of Berkshire’s insider trading rules. But this year, the top five firms that that saw the most significant declines in reputation were all financial firms, with some pretty familiar names among them. This isn’t too surprisingly, with the proliferation of the Occupy Wall Street protests throughout the latter half of 2011.
The most significant declines in reputation quotient from 2011 vs. 2012, from Harris Interactive:
1. Bank of America -9.08
2. Berkshire Hathaway -7.28
3. Wells Fargo & Co. -6.65
4. Goldman Sachs -6.33
5. JPMorgan Chase -6.3