The 25 Biggest IT Companies On The 2017 Fortune 500

The Big Get Bigger

The 25 largest North American publicly traded IT companies climbed a combined 259 spots in the 2017 Fortune 500 rankings, with just 10 companies falling in the standings over the past year.

Sales for these 25 IT vendors, distributors and solution providers grew by a total of $49.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year, while profits increased by a combined $4.46 billion. Total employee headcount for the 25 technology titans swelled to nearly 3.09 million.

Charter Communications and Facebook clawed their way into the top 25 for the first time, joining the newly formed Hewlett Packard Enterprise and now partially public Dell Technologies. CSC and Western Digital fell off the list, while EMC was purchased by Dell and Ingram Micro was bought by a Chinese logistics firm.

Keep reading to learn how the top IT companies fared in this year's Fortune 500.

25. Cognizant Technology Solutions

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 205 (up 25 spots)

CEO: Francisco D'Souza

Cognizant Technology Solutions catapulted from No. 230 to No. 205 as sales climbed 8.6 percent to $13.5 billion. Profits for the Teaneck, N.J.-based IT services company, No. 7 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, fell 4.3 percent to $1.6 billion. Cognizant is investigating whether it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), with company President Gordon Coburn resigning from the company after two decades. The company also reached a truce with activist investor Elliott Management to appoint three new independent members to its board of directors and create a financial policy committee. Cognizant has 260,200 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 every year since 2011.

24. CDW

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 199 (up 21 spots)

CEO: Thomas Richards

CDW jumped from No. 220 to No. 199 as sales increased 7.6 percent to $14 billion. Profits for the Lincolnshire, Ill.-based IT services company, No. 5 on the 2017 CRN SP 500, improved 5.3 percent to $6.9 billion. CDW has aggressively expanded its services capabilities and dramatically grown its cross-border capabilities since closing its acquisition of U.K.-based Kelway in 2015. The U.S. government doesn't plan to take any action against CDW after concluding a 19-month investigation into the company's vendor partner program incentives. CDW employs 8,516, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 list from 2001 to 2007 and every year since 2012.

23. Synnex

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 198 (up 14 spots)

CEO: Kevin Murai

Synnex continued its climb up the Fortune 500 ladder, jumping another 14 spots this year after debuting on the list at No. 360 back in 2007. Revenue for the 110,000-person distributor improved 5.4 percent to $14 billion, while profits rose 12.7 percent to $235 million. Synnex intends to pay up to $830 million to purchase Westcon's North American and Latin American operations as it aims to boost its presence in the region. Murai recently told Wall Street analysts that the Synnex and Westcon teams felt "energized" after becoming further acquainted with one another.

22. Xerox

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 162 (down 12 spots)

CEO: Jeff Jacobson

Xerox dropped from No. 150 to No. 162 as sales fell 8.2 percent to $17.1 billion. The loss for the Norwalk, Conn.-based computer peripherals company worsened by 200.6 percent to $477 million. At the start of 2017, Xerox completed the spinoff of its $6.7 billion business process services division, which was renamed Conduent. The company debuted 29 new printers and multifunction devices as part of the biggest product launch in the company's 110-year history. Xerox employs 133,600 people, and has been on the Fortune 500 since 1995.

21. CenturyLink

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 160 (down 1 spot)

CEO: Glen Post III

CenturyLink dipped from No. 159 to No. 160 as sales fell 2.4 percent to $17.5 billion. Profits for the Monroe, La.-based telecommunications company decreased 28.7 percent to $626 million. CenturyLink has recently restructured its organization into consumer, enterprise, and IT and managed services groups, as it prepares to close the Level 3 acquisition later this year. The company also rolled out its first tiered channel program and plans to bring third-party vendor products to its channel partner community. The company employs 40,000, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 every year since 2010.

20. Qualcomm

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 119 (down 9 spots)

CEO: Steven Mollenkopf

Qualcomm fell from No. 110 to No. 119 as sales fell 6.8 percent in the company's 2016 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, to $23.6 billion. Profits for the San Diego-based semiconductor company jumped 8.2 percent to $5.7 billion. Qualcomm's latest processor leverages 10-nanometer technology so that processors can be smaller but more powerful. The company employs 30,500 people, and has been on the Fortune 500 from 1999 to 2001 and every year since 2003.

19. Arrow Electronics

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 118 (up 1 spot)

CEO: Mike Long

Arrow may have only risen one spot on Fortune's list, but the Centennial, Colo.-based distributor could be poised to take a major step forward in 2017 after securing more than $350 million in business from channel competitors, CEO Long revealed during a February earnings call. However, on-boarding those new partners will take time, and Arrow likely won't really feel the positive effects until the second half of the year. For 2016, Arrow can boast modest increases in revenue (2.3 percent to $23.8 billion) and profits (5 percent to $522.8 million). The company employs 18,700 people, and has been on the Fortune 500 for 23 years.

18. Avnet

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 108 (down 6 spots)

CEO: Bill Amelio

Avnet's $2.6 billion sale of its Technology Solutions IT distribution business to Tech Data, which was announced in September and closed in February, highlights the company's efforts to bolster its software-selling prowess as demand for data center hardware fell sharply. The Phoenix-based distributor fell six spots on the Fortune 500 after seeing revenue decrease 6.1 percent to $26.2 billion and profits drop 11.4 percent to $506.5 million. Prior to the Tech Data acquisition announcement, Avnet -- which employs 17,700 people -- created specialized business units around data center, cloud, security, analytics, mobility and education to help accelerate software-driven technology sales.

17. Tech Data

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 107 (up 1 spot)

CEO: Bob Dutkowsky

A steady presence just outside the Fortune 100 since 2000, Tech Data made a huge move within the IT distribution market when it closed on a $2.6 billion purchase of Avnet's Technology Solutions business in February. The acquisition promises to help the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor jump into the stronger flash and solid-state storage market, boost its Asia-Pacific presence and increase its overall workforce to 14,000 employees. Tech Data's profits fell 26.6 percent last year to $195.1 million, while revenue dipped 0.5 percent to $26.2 billion. "Our combined teams across the company are not only competing; they are winning in the marketplace," Dutkowsky said on the company's last earnings call.

16. Facebook

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 98 (up 59 spots)

CEO: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook is among the fastest-growing companies in the world, with sales climbing 54.2 percent to $27.6 billion. The 17,000-employee social media titan is projected to collect an incredible 12 percent of the world’s digital-ad revenues this year, and its profits shot up by 177 percent to $10.2 billion. Facebook has made a handful of major investments outside of its namesake social network in the past few years, including virtual reality headset Oculus Rift and the WhatsApp messaging app, and the associated costs have done nothing to slow the company’s tremendous growth and momentum.

15. Charter Communications

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 96 (up 196 spots)

CEO: Thomas Rutledge

Charter Communications skyrocketed from No. 292 to No. 96 on the Fortune 500 as sales leapfrogged by 197.3 percent to $29 billion. Profits for the Stamford, Conn.-based telecommunications vendor came in at $3.5 billion. Charter quadrupled its footprint and expanded its sales and marketing force through its May 2016 purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The company also partnered with Comcast on an expansive wireless services agreement that requires one to seek the other’s approval for a major transaction with a wireless company. Charter has 91,500 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 since 2001.

14. Oracle

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 81 (down 4 spots)

CEOs: Safra Catz and Mark Hurd

While Amazon and Microsoft surge ahead in the cloud arms race, Oracle is trying to play catch-up after focusing much of its strategy around on-premise software. The company's revenue and profit both fell slightly, down 3.1 percent to $37 billion and 10.4 percent to $8.9 billion, respectively, but company leadership remains bullish on the strength of its technology. As co-CEO Mark Hurd told reporters in May, he believes Oracle's applications, platform and infrastructure form a more "complete" stack offering. A company of 136,000 employees, Oracle has remained in the No. 77 to No. 82 range on the Fortune 500 for the last six years.

13. HP Inc.

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 61 (down 41 spots)

CEO: Dion Weisler

Since spinning off Hewlett Packard Enterprises as a separate entity, HP Inc. has found itself in a state of flux. The computer products vendor saw revenue decrease 53.3 percent to $48.2 billion, and its profits decrease 45.2 percent to $2.5 billion due primarily to the HPE split. The 49,000-employee, Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, however, experienced what CEO Dion Weisler called a ’breakthrough quarter’ in May. Both the personal computing and print systems businesses recently saw growth for the first time since 2010.

12. Cisco Systems

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 60 (down 6 spots)

CEO: Chuck Robbins

Cisco dropped from No. 54 to No. 60 on the Fortune 500 despite sales inching ahead 0.2 percent in the 2016 fiscal year, which ended July 31, to $49.2 billion. Profits for the San Jose, Calif.-based networking vendor jumped 19.6 percent to $10.7 billion. Cisco has been retooling its business for the cloud era, Fortune said, by simultaneously cutting costs and making 20 acquisitions in two years. Cisco recently purchased an application analytics and software-defined networking firm as it transitions from a hardware-first company to one with software at its core. Cisco has 73,700 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 since 1997.

11. Hewlett Packard Enterprise

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 59

CEO: Meg Whitman

Hewlett Packard Enterprise landed at No. 59 in its first year on the Fortune 500 with sales of $50.1 billion in the fiscal year ended Oct. 31. Profits for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT services company came in at $3.2 billion. HPE came out of the November 2015 Hewlett-Packard split with B2B businesses that promised high growth rates, Fortune said, and holds high market share in servers, storage, software and networking. HPE has 195,000 employees.

10. Intel

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 47 (up 4 spots)

CEO: Brian Krzanich

Intel climbed from No. 51 to No. 47 on the Fortune 500 as sales climbed by 7.3 percent to $59.4 billion. Profits for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based semiconductor vendor fell by 9.7 percent to $10.3 billion. Intel is trying to solidify itself as an Internet of Things supplier, Fortune said, with the company making connected chips for anything from self-driving cars to jet engines. Intel spent 2016 restructuring, launching new products, integrating IoT vendor Altera, and announcing plans to divest its security business, Fortune said. Intel has 106,000 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 since 1995.

9. Dell Technologies

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 41

CEO: Michael Dell

Dell returned to the Fortune 500 for the first time since 2013 thanks to its historic merger with data storage firm EMC. The $67 billion deal, the biggest ever seen in the IT industry, promises to help Dell make inroads in fast-growing areas such as software-defined data centers and data analytics. The Round Rock, Texas-based company brought in $64.8 billion in revenue – up 18.1 percent from last year – and recorded a $1.7 billion loss. Dell is 138,000 employees strong following its merger and appears on the Fortune 500 for the 20th time overall.

8. IBM

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 32 (down 1 spot)

CEO: Virginia Rometty

IBM fell from No. 31 to No. 32 on the Fortune 500 as sales dipped 3.1 percent to $79.9 billion. Profits for the Armonk, N.Y.-based IT services company dropped by 10 percent to $11.9 billion. IBM is working to shift attention away from its declining businesses and toward its higher-value opportunities, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mobility, analytics, and security, Fortune said. IBM employs 414,400, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 list since 1995.

7. Comcast

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 31 (up 6 spots)

CEO: Brian Roberts

Comcast leaped from No. 37 to No. 31 on the Fortune 500 as sales jumped 7.9 percent to $80.4 billion. Profits for the Philadelphia-based telecommunications vendor improved by 6.5 percent to $8.7 billion. The company is putting the finishing touches on a second skyscraper in Philadelphia which will house the engineers and software developers for its growing video division, Fortune said. Comcast also added 858,000 customers—an uptick of 29 percent—to its classic cable business, according to Fortune. Comcast has 159,000 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 list since 1996.

6. Microsoft

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 28 (down 3 spots)

CEO: Satya Nadella

A mammoth $26.2 billion deal to acquire LinkedIn highlights Microsoft’s recent expansion efforts, and the company continues to enjoy positive Azure-related momentum as it tries to chase down Amazon Web Services in the public cloud space. The computer software giant saw revenue dip 8.8 percent to $85.3 billion, but its profits rose 37.8 percent to $16.8 billion, keeping it within the top-40 companies on Fortune's list for the ninth consecutive year. Microsoft, which employs 114,000 people, is in its 23rd consecutive year on the Fortune 500.

5. Alphabet

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 27 (up 9 spots)

CEO: Larry Page

Alphabet, Google’s parent company following its 2015 restructuring, continues to rake in revenue via its search/advertising business, YouTube and Android. Those core operations account for a significant portion of Alphabet’s revenue, which increased 20.4 percent year over year to $90.3 billion. Profits likewise rose 19.1 percent to a hefty $19.5 billion, bumping the forward-thinking company into the Fortune 30. The 72,000-employee company also remains committed to making ’smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange,’ including projects like self-driving car Waymo and a new virtual reality headset. Meanwhile, the European Union Tuesday imposed a $2.7 billion fine on Google for allegedly giving its comparison shopping service an "illegal" advantage.

4. Verizon

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 14 (down 1 spot)

CEO: Lowell McAdam

Verizon fell from No. 13 to No. 14 as sales dropped 4.3 percent to $126 billion. Profits for the New York-based telecommunications company fell 26.6 percent to $13.1 billion. The company is dead-set on a mobile, digital future, according to Fortune, and has been investing in next-generation 5G wireless technology as well as the multitrillion-dollar Internet of Things space. Verizon announced in 2016 that it would acquire both AOL and Yahoo as it works to load its network with content to help keep a highly competitive market from turning into a commodity business, Fortune said. Verizon has 160,900 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 list since 1995.

3. Amazon

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 12 (up 6 spots)

CEO: Jeff Bezos

Few tech companies are dominating quite like Amazon is right now. The only thing more impressive than the sheer number of bold initiatives being pursued by the Seattle-based innovator – from drones to a streaming service and the Echo home automation device – is the far-reaching success Amazon has found in doing so. Amazon saw profits skyrocket 297.8 percent to $2.4 billion, while its revenue soared by 27.1 percent to $136 billion. Microsoft may be challenging Amazon Web Services with its Azure cloud platform, but AWS remains the industry leader in that space. The 341,400-employee company has remained a fixture on the Fortune 500 since 2002, steadily rising on the list in every year since.

2. AT&T

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 9 (up 1 spot)

CEO: Randall Stephenson

AT&T climbed from No. 10 to No. 9 as sales lincreased 11.6 percent to $163.8 billion. Profits for the Dallas-based telecommunications company dipped by 2.8 percent to $13 billion. AT&T added 6.2 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. market and expanded its lucrative business services portfolio, according to Fortune. The company started 2016 by integrating its acquisition of DirecTV, Fortune said, and ended the year by announcing an even larger deal for Time Warner. AT&T has 268,540 employees, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 list since 1995.

1. Apple

2017 Fortune 500 Rank: 3 (no change)

CEO: Tim Cook

Apple, the most profitable publicly traded company in the world, held steady as the largest IT vendor on the Fortune 500 even as its revenue fell 7.7 percent to $215.6 billion. Profits for the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant also decreased, slipping 14.4 percent to $45.6 billion, after spiking by a remarkable 35.1 percent last year. Nevertheless, Apple cracked the Fortune 500's top five for the fourth consecutive year, outranking the likes of Amazon and Microsoft by a sizable margin. Fortune notes that Apple, which employs 116,000, has ramped up its software investment and made forays into untapped areas, including the automobile industry.