Quintiles, SAS move up Forbes' largest private company list

Posted November 5, 2010

— Quintiles and SAS, two of the Triangle’s premier companies, bucked the tough economic trend in 2009 by growing their revenues. As a result, the firms climbed more than 20 places on the annual Forbes magazine list of America’s largest privately held companies.

Quintiles, the world’s largest provider of services such as clinical trials as well as investment to life science firms worldwide, vaulted 27 spots on the list to No. 133 from 2008.

SAS, one of the world’s largest privately held software firms, climbed 23 spots to No. 188.

Forbes’ overall list contains 223 firms with $1.3 trillion in annual revenues and 4.4 million employees, but the global recession took its toll on many of those companies with sales declining 13 percent from 2008.

“Closely held companies, insulated from the disposition of public investors, are still subject to the pains of a weakened economy,” Forbes noted.

However, Quintiles grew revenues by 7.1 percent to $3 billion from 2008.

SAS, meanwhile, drove its sales up 2.2 percent to $2.31 billion from the previous year.

SAS co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jim Goodnight also told a reporter recently that the company had increased revenues this year some 5 percent.

The magazine also noted that Goodnight is one of only 24 of its Forbes 400 richest list who is CEO of a company on the private firm list.

Goodnight ranks third with a net worth of $6.9 billion, Forbes said.

Charles Koch of Koch Industries is first with a net worth of $21.5 billion.

Edward Johnson III of Fidelity Investments, which has a major presence in the Triangle, is second at $7.1 billion.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Baybee Doll Nov 5, 2010


  • dogluvr26 Nov 5, 2010

    "Yes, dogluvr, there are people who do normal jobs & speak languages other than Java or A+ who could be a great asset to the company if given a chance." -Baybee Doll

    Yes, but unless they have a need for it, they're not going to just start hiring at random simply because people need work. The one thing I think they have done to really help the economy is that--despite business & revenue dropping in past quarters--they haven't done any layoffs. That alone is a huge help--much more than hiring people there's not a logical business need for.

  • seankelly15 Nov 5, 2010

    Baybee Doll - "Yes, dogluvr, there are people who do normal jobs & speak languages other than Java or A+ who could be a great asset to the company if given a chance."

    Doing what specifically? Unfortunately, there are so many highly skilled programmers and statisticians in the area that SAS would be dumb to ignore that talent to hire someone without those skills just to see if maybe they could contribute to the company. I agree with dogluvr26, do you know what SAS does?

  • seankelly15 Nov 5, 2010

    GOFIGURE - I have to think that you were one of the employees who managed to rise to a supervisory level without a college degree. Quintiles is operating a more technically sophisticated company where a college degree is now the MINIMUM requirement.

  • seankelly15 Nov 5, 2010

    1 of the original Americans - "Seems strange that there were just a whole bunch of layoffs at Quintiles in May 2010..." Your facts are wrong. There was not a 'bunch of layoffs' in May. A few people at the RTP office were let go, but Quintiles is an international company with offices all over the world. The numbers were specific to one office and could not be construed as 'a bunch'

  • seankelly15 Nov 5, 2010

    GOFIGURE - Quintiles performs clinical testing based on the protocol PROVIDED BY THE DRUG COMPANY. The problems with Avandia stem from the lack of cardiac patients in the sample. Quintiles does not specify the sample nor the sample size. They simply conduct the trials.

  • Baybee Doll Nov 5, 2010

    Yes, dogluvr, there are people who do normal jobs & speak languages other than Java or A+ who could be a great asset to the company if given a chance.

  • dogluvr26 Nov 5, 2010

    "Ok, now how about SAS doing something to help the economy & hire some people for a change?? I mean normal people, not computer geeks with multiple certifications." -Baybee Doll

    You do understand what the company does, correct? I don't see them hiring random "normal" people to just hang out in their building in order to collect a paycheck...

  • loosepaint2 Nov 5, 2010


    IBM has done and still does the exact same thing.

    It's extremely unfortunate that companies that receive all the accolades for increasing in size and revenue are those that care the least about their employees...especially their long term employees who have made these companies their careers and have given their all.. so much for dedication

  • Baybee Doll Nov 5, 2010

    Moreover, the HR rep treated me TERRIBLY when I went for an interview many years ago. I'm tired of hearing about how great SAS is. They are only great to their emoloyees.