I was talking with a client a few weeks ago about how notable Massachusetts companies continue to get acquired by out of state entities. Gillette, Fleet, and John Hancock to name a few. These companies continue to move employees out of state, and the loss of those big names makes it seem like the days of the large Massachusetts-headquartered companies are a thing of the past which doesn’t bode well for local real estate.
Curious about the actual statistics, I pulled up the Fortune 500 list from 2000: 12 companies in the state were on the list with two in the top 100.
As I pulled up the 2010 list, I thought I’d see a 60-70% reduction over 10 years. Instead, I found 13 Massachusetts companies with three in the top 100.
The basic numbers point to a decided shift toward the life science industry. Three of the four new additions to the list are medical device and biotechnology companies such as Boston Scientific, Biogen, & Genzyme. The potential Genzyme acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis SA, however, could bring us back to even.
While it remains unnerving to see manufacturing jobs leaving the northeast, it is somewhat reassuring to see the old Commonwealth namesakes are being replaced by new ones.