Two of North Carolina’s best-known companies are among the world;s most innovative, according to Forbes.

Raleigh-based Red Hat took the No. 23 spot among the 100 companies selected.

And Burlington-based LabCorp came in at No. 99 in the 2017 list unveiled Thursday.

Red Hat is the world’s leader in Open Source Linux development and services as well as cloud computing.

LabCorp is one of the world’s largest life science companies, having greatly expanded its reach through a series of acquisitions on drug development and other services.

“Innovation in guiding patient care is what we do at LabCorp, so being recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes is a tremendous honor to our more than 57,000 dedicated colleagues,” said David King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp. “I am proud of the cutting-edge work that they do every day, allowing LabCorp to bring innovative solutions to our customers, and to carry out our mission of improving health and improving lives.”

Companies must have $10 billion in market cap and seven years of public financial data.

Here’s how Forbes bases its Innovative Companies rankings:

“Most innovation rankings are popularity contests based on past performance or editorial whims. We set out to create something very different with the World’s Most Innovative Companies list, using the wisdom of the crowd. Our method relies on investors’ ability to identify firms they expect to be innovative now and in the future. You can learn more about our research on innovation at The Innovator’s DNA website.

“Companies are ranked by their innovation premium: the difference between their market capitalization and the net present value of cash flows from existing businesses (based on a proprietary algorithm from Credit Suisse HOLT). The difference between them is the bonus given by equity investors on the educated hunch that the company will continue to come up with profitable new growth.”

Red Hat snapshot from Forbes:

  • Red Hat on Forbes Lists

#23 Innovative Companies
#1,935 Global 2000
#804 in Market value

  • Summary

Red Hat, Inc. provides open source software solutions. Its software offerings are designed to provide customers with high-performing, scalable, flexible, reliable, secure and stable technologies that meet the information technology infrastructure needs of enterprises. These offerings include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss Middleware, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Storage Server. It has three geographic operating segments: the Americas (U.S., Canada and Latin America), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia Pacific. Red Hat was founded by Robert F. Young in March 1993 and is headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

LabCorp snapshot from Forbes:

  • LabCorp on Forbes Lists

#99 Innovative Companies
#821 Global 2000
#946 in Sales
#873 in Profit
#1,507 in Assets
#829 in Market value
#242 America’s Top Public Companies
#277 in Sales
#258 in Profit
#387 in Assets
#312 in Market value


Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings operates as a clinical laboratory company, which engages in the provision of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. It operates through the LabCorp Diagnostics and Covance Drug Development segments. The LabCorp Diagnostics segment includes core testing as well as genomic and esoteric testing. The Covance Drug Development segment involves in providing drug development solutions, to companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Burlington, NC.

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