Why We Created the Lonergan SV150
When we learned that The Mercury News did not plan to update their Silicon Valley 150 ranking to reflect 2017 results, we set out to create a new — and we hope improved — list of the top public tech companies in Silicon Valley, which we are calling the Lonergan SV150.
As experts in Silicon Valley leadership and talent, Lonergan Partners is publishing this list as a public service. We hope you will use it as a reference guide for better understanding the top companies and business leaders in our area.
Evolution from The Mercury News SV150
For over thirty years, The Mercury News published a list of the top public companies in the Bay Area, which eventually came to focus solely on technology companies, in a list they called the SV150. Starting in 2014, Lonergan Partners began publishing Who Runs Silicon Valley, a series of leadership insights focusing on the companies listed in the The Mercury News SV150 (which we will abbreviate as the MN SV150 from this point on).
Since we found this ranking very valuable in discussing talent and leadership issues in our community, we decided to create a new and improved ranking, which still can be used in comparison to the MN SV150. For specifics on our methodology and how it compares to the MN SV150, continue reading below.
Development of the Lonergan SV150
We ranked Silicon Valley public technology companies by prior calendar year revenue, just as The Mercury News did in their MN SV150.
To be eligible for inclusion, companies had to meet the following criteria:
A Public Company on the Cutoff Date
The cutoff date for inclusion was June 30, 2018. This is a significant difference from the methodology used by the MN SV150. We left off companies that had been fully acquired by the cutoff date even if they were independent as of Dec 31, 2017. In counterpoint, we included 2018 IPOs as of the end of June 2018. The result of this change is to make the list more up-to-date as of publication.
Headquartered in the Silicon Valley
The company headquarters had to be located within 50 miles of the HP garage in Palo Alto, the birthplace of the Silicon Valley (our radius stretches farther north, south and east than the MN SV150). We made some judgment calls about what headquarters really means in cases where companies founded abroad claimed legal headquarters in the Silicon Valley, but did not show local management. As an executive search firm, we take a talent and leadership perspective here, looking at the location and background of the management team as the leading indicator of where the company is currently headquartered.
The company stock had to be traded as an equity on the NYSE or the NASDAQ. The US subsidiaries of international tech firms headquartered outside the USA, such as Samsung and Nokia, were not included.
A Technology Company
We followed the precedent set by The Mercury News: we included all companies formerly on the MN SV150 list that met this year’s revenue cutoff and had not been fully acquired. New public companies were included if they met criteria above and they qualified as tech in nature based on their company descriptions, news information about their product offerings, and a look at the talent leading the company, sitting on its board, and making investments in it.
Financial Data Comparisons & Ratios
Fiscal Year Variations
For companies with December fiscal year ends, all revenues, growth and profitability calculations used fiscal year data as reported by Yahoo Finance. When a company did not have a December fiscal year end, we adjusted using quarterly data to the 4 quarters ending closest to December 31. Financial data was sourced starting with Yahoo Finance and supplemented when necessary with the company’s data reported in its 10Qs. Every effort was made to reflect amended financial statements whenever possible.
Profitability refers to Net Income divided by Sales (net profit ratio) adjusted to the same time period as above. Net income may include results from discontinued operations, restructuring and merger-related expenses, investment gains or losses, gains on extinguishment of debt, as well as any amortized or nonrecurring charges.